A SHOPPING street, which up to 20,000 people use a day, could be pedestrianised.

East Street in Brighton, which leads from the Royal Pavilion to the seafront, could be closed to traffic as part of a project to cut down traffic in The Lanes.

The road was originally included in a scheme to pedestrianise large sections of The Lanes, but the council was forced to re-think when a Government inspector questioned the possible impact on nearby Little East Street.

In new plans the council will now include speed bumps and safety railings in Little East Street, where traffic is predicted to increase by one extra vehicle a minute during the pedestrianised times.

If the plans are given the go ahead by councillors next week East Street is expected to be closed to vehicles by the end of November.

The road would have no vehicle access from 11am to 7pm and no access for lorries until midnight.

But traders expressed concerns about the impact on the area.

Sue Addis, managing director of Pietro Addis & Sons, said the scheme is just “moving traffic from one area to another” and would have major impacts on Little East Street.

She said: “It just seems senseless, we all have businesses in The Lanes and we want to see improvements but we do not see this as an improvement.

“Yes, at the weekends it is very busy, but this will only make things more difficult, they are just spending money on something for the sake of it.”

Denise Taylor, secretary of the Brighton Lanes Traders Group, said: “It is very beneficial to the traders in East Street but extremely unbeneficial to other traders in the area.

“We feel the money would be much more well spent encouraging people to come into The Lanes rather than making it more difficult for people already there.”

Councillor Ian Davey, deputy council leader and lead member for transport said: “There is clearly a slight detrimental effect on a small number of premises in Little East Street - but a very large positive impact on a greater number in East Street. So it’s logical to press ahead, to bring the greatest benefits to the greatest numbers.

“However, I’m really hopeful that Little East Street will eventually gain some new benefits as the Old Town area becomes more vibrant - in the same way the North Laine gained so much from pedestrianisation.”

The report on the plans will be presented to the environment, transport and sustainability committee on October 7.