CITY council leader Nancy Platts wants all concerns over a controversial road scheme “out on the table”.

Labour Councillor Nancy Platts says she wants to try to find solutions to problems raised by the Valley Gardens project in the centre of Brighton.

But she said the council would not hide the fact the scheme’s main aim was to encourage people to use “more sustainable modes of transport”.

Cllr Platts said: “Every time somebody raises a concern we are sitting down and trying to address it with them.

“We will get their problems out on the table and have a look to see if we can make adjustments to the plan in order to solve them.

“I am systematically going to work my way through all of the problems people are raising and see what we can fix, because we want people to be happy with it.

“But we are not going to disguise the fact that this is about trying to get people on to more sustainable modes of transport.

Cllr Platts, who sits in the East Brighton ward, was elected as council leader in May just weeks after the city’s Labour group won a second term in charge of the council – they won 20 seats to the Greens 19.

Last week she met members of the Valley Gardens Forum, a group of residents and business owners who have listed concerns about the project.

Convenor Daniel Nathan said the scheme was a “burning public health issue” and residents raised concerns over increased traffic and pollution levels.

Cllr Platts said: “People are concerned that the traffic will all travel down one side with the new layout.

“The reason for doing that is to create a new public realm, a pedestrianised space outside the Royal Pavilion.

“A lot of people visit the Pavilion and it gets really busy so we could do with a bit of spillover space. We have got green space there already so all we have got to do is increase the paving in the area. Then we can also have things like Christmas markets and events during Brighton Festival there.

“It would be a nicer space to use.”

Cllr Platts also addressed concerns with planned changes to the road to accommodate another lane, and resulting increases in pollution in the city centre.

She said: “There are also worries about the widening of the road.

“But the road is not widening very much.

“What we are doing is making each lane narrower and creating a more continuous bus lane.

“So it will speed up the journey if you travel by public transport, which is one of the changes we want people to make.

“It will also slow traffic down a bit with the narrower lanes.

“People are concerned about pollution but I’m assured that the pollution will disperse in this area.

“Also the buses switch into electric mode when they hit this part of the city so they are not giving off emissions.”

She said increased use of public transport was “essential” if the Brighton and Hove Labour group was to keep its 2019 pledge of making the city carbon neutral by 2030.