SHOPS along one of Brighton’s busiest roads should be levelled to make way for wider pavements and cycle lanes, a planning consultant has recommended.

Transport consultant Steve Reeves has proposed turning Lewes Road into a continental boulevard with four metre wide pavements by compulsory purchasing shops that currently line the busy road.

Mr Reeves said the city should take inspiration from other authorities in Ashford and Birmingham who have taken such steps to dramatically improve the urban environment.

Fellow transport expert Mark Strong has also added to the debate by suggesting that Lewes Road be restricted to one way southbound with protected cycle lanes.

The debate follow calls for improvements to the road’s junction with Elm Grove after an accident with a cyclist.

A petition launched by resident Dani Ahrens calling for a thorough safety review of the junction has attracted more than 200 signatures.

The petition calls for the removing of railings, straightening of the Lewes Road crossing north of Elm Grove, a new pedestrian crossing for Park Crescent Surgery and protected cycle infrastructure linking to The Level.

Mr Reeves, a former Brighton and Hove City Council employee, said that the immediate safety concerns could be eased at the fraction of the cost of a review by increasing the size of the pedestrian island, making the turn into Elm Grove tighter and forcing cars to slow down.

Red paint and widening of cycle lanes at the junction would also help make drivers think more about the safety of others.

But he also expanded on a “money no objective” scenario for the road which would see shops near to the junction bought up by the council and then demolished to create sufficient space for wider walkways and a vastly improved cycle lane.

He said: “If you look to the continent, look to Scandinavia, and they have virtually a park running through the road.

“Other cities around the UK have used CPOs to remove stuff that is not in the right place for the greater good.

“Birmingham is getting rid of the ring road and moving away from the car dominated environment to more shared space.”

Mr Strong added: “At the moment, Lewes Road doesn’t really work for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists or buses.

”By making it one way, you might have to make Upper Lewes Road one way but that’s no different to Beaconsfield Villas and London Road.

“These are not ideas that haven’t been tried elsewhere, they’re happening just round the corner, they’re nothing radical, plenty of places have done it.”

To sign the petition visit epetition website.