MADEIRA Drive is in need of a major overhaul before it can be pedestrianised, traders there have agreed.

Representatives from more than 35 businesses in the area met representatives from Brighton and Hove City Council to discuss possible changes.

The seafront road has been closed to cars since March as the council looked to give Brighton residents more space for socially distanced exercise during the lockdown.

Read more>>>Madeira Drive closed to cars during lockdown

The Argus:

Read more>>>Support for permanent car ban in Madeira Drive

The move has sparked extensive discussions on whether it should be made permanent, with both fierce support and opposition.

Traders in the area including Katie Mintram, director of Yellowave Beach Sports Venue, said they had enjoyed the space during the lockdown.

But, in an open letter to the council they argued for car access to be returned as soon as possible amid concerns a lack of access to the road would damage their businesses.

Read more>>>Businesses call for seafront road to be reopened

The Argus:

This was discussed at the meeting.

Katie said: “We are excited to feel there may be a long-term investment into Madeira Drive. We have been pushing for pedestrianised areas for years. The road needs the Madeira Lift running year-round, landscaping and some form of public transport running regularly.

“This needs to be done first, otherwise the road will just become more and more derelict with businesses reducing operating hours and closing up in winter.”

Read more>>>More roads in Brighton should close to cars like Madeira Drive

The Argus:

JJ Braiden who has worked as a tarot reader on the road for many decades, agreed.

She said: “We have been campaigning for the road to be properly landscaped with children’s areas, an artist quarter, a seafront bus route and pedestrianised sections for years but nothing is ever done – we feel left out on a limb.

“To simply close the road means we as businesses are being closed down.”

After noting the car ban was “well received” by many residents in the city, the council has previously said it would continue to be monitored as Government restrictions change.

“Further transport measures will be considered at the environment, transport and sustainability committee when it meets on Tuesday, June 23,” a council spokeswoman said.

Read more>>>Council update on Madeira Drive closure

Councillors attending the meeting included Anne Pissaridou, chairwoman of the authority’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, Carmen Appich, chairwoman of the tourism, equalities, communities and culture committee, and Green Withdean councillor Steven Davis, a member of the environment, transport and sustainability committee.

Traders were told their concerns would be taken into account at future meetings, with councillors saying they understood how hard businesses had been hit by the closures.