AS BRIGHTON and Hove’s only independent councillor, I have no political axe to grind or legacy policies to defend.

My role is to represent residents living in the area from Sussex Square to West Saltdean including the marina.

After many discussions with people who share my concerns, I have written to Coast to Capital to request that it withdraws its financial support of the Valley Gardens road scheme.

My reason for this request is simple: Under the current plans the roundabout by the aquarium will be replaced by a new junction with traffic lights and all traffic on Madeira Drive will be one-way, west to east.

A completely new junction will be created on the A259 at Dukes Mound, south of Sussex Square. This will be in an area where traffic is currently free-flowing with very little congestion.

Even though this junction will be on a major road that tens of thousands of cars use every day, and even more when there are events on Madeira Drive, Brighton and Hove City Council Officers have told me there are no plans and no modelling for this junction.

The council says Valley Gardens is about easing congestion and reducing pollution in the immediate Valley Gardens area. However, this congestion and pollution will simply be displaced and concentrated to the east of the city as people queue at the new junction - and find their own rat runs to avoid it.

I hope that Coast to Capital will listen to the concerns of thousands of residents, businesses, taxi drivers and bus users and withdraw its support for Valley Gardens phase 3 until its many flaws have been ironed out.

Bridget Fishleigh

Brighton & Hove’s Only Independent Councillor