JOGGERS, cyclists and walkers will be able to enjoy extra space on the seafront after the council announced a road closure.

Brighton and Hove City Council wants to create more space for exercise while keeping a safe distance apart.

So from Monday, Madeira Drive will be temporarily closed from the Palace Pier to Dukes Mound.

The space is a popular spot during the spring and summer for exhibition events including the Brighton Marathon and classic car shows.

Other cities which have used similar closure powers include Vancouver in Canada and Berlin.

Council chiefs are also looking at other areas where streets could be closed to traffic at a time when the number of vehicles on the road has fallen.

The Argus:

Transport committee chairwoman Councillor Anne Pissaridou said: “Madeira Drive is a long, wide road right by the seafront and will create an extra safe open space for local people in the area to use for their daily walk or bike ride.

“It will provide a traffic-free place for the many residents in that

area who do not have access to a garden.

“Practising social distancing is making us all aware of the importance of public spaces and making us rethink how we use them, but I would also ask that cyclists and pedestrians respect each other’s space and safety in this shared area.

“We’re all in this together.

“We are pleased to be able to offer this change so quickly and are considering other locations to see if we can extend this to other roads in the city.”

The Argus:

She said the authority has used emergency powers given in response to the coronavirus pandemic to order the road to be closed.

The council says Madeira Drive and Dukes Mound will be closed to motor vehicles.

Madeira Drive will be manned by stewards for its full length from the Palace Pier roundabout from 8am to 8pm daily.

Businesses will continue to be allowed access to essential properties and this will be organised from Dukes Mound.

Signs will be put up advising people to keep a safe distance apart from each other.

The authority repeated its message that people should stay home to protect the National Health Service and only go out for essential reasons.

These include to buy groceries and medicines, to go to work if working from home is not possible, and to exercise – but only close to home and for one hour a day.

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