ANGRY mods are planning to descend on a seafront road in protest at a controversial traffic ban.

They will gather on their scooters in what they have dubbed “the battle for Madeira Drive”.

The road in Brighton has been at the heart of a fierce debate since the city council shut it to motor vehicles in April, saying it wanted to make more space for people to exercise safely amid the coronavirus lockdown.

While many are keen to see the scheme extended, its opponents are livid.

The Argus:

Among their ranks are traders worried the closure will ruin their businesses, and those who flock to the road for motoring events including the Brighton Mod Weekender, a vast celebration of mod culture.

Bikers from across the south coast plan to protest at 2pm today.

A poster shared on the South Coast Mods Facebook page calls on “mods and rockers” to meet near the entrance closest to Brighton Palace Pier.

One user commented: “We will see you down there to kick some ass.”

There has been speculation that the mods may try to drive along the road.

The Argus:

Jayne Braiden, who owns a tarot reading parlour in Madeira Drive, expects a big turnout.

She said: “If there are 40 scooters coming towards you, there’s no way you can stop them.

“I told the steward who’s up guarding the top of the road: ‘If you see the scooters, just move aside’”.

The mods have extended their invitation to their old foes the rockers too. Jayne said large motorbikes are expected as well as scooters – but thinks the Hells Angels are unlikely to attend.

“It doesn’t matter what anyone says – if the Hells Angels wanted to drive on a road, they’d just do it”, she said.

Like the mods, Jayne feels a special attachment to the road.

She fears businesses that have stood in Madeira Drive for years will have shut their doors due to reduced visitor numbers.

“It’s a part of Brighton’s history,” she said. “We’re talking years of tradition that the council is taking away here.”

Every year, hundreds of mods park their Vespas and Lambrettas outside the Volks nightclub in Madeira Drive, made famous in the cult film Quadrophenia.

The South Coast Mods have said of Madeira Drive’s closure: “We think it’s disgusting, we all pay road tax and the amount of business the Brighton Mod Weekender brings on the bank holiday is out of this world. You try find a hotel – all the venues are packed solid – there’s up to 5,000 scooters plus people on foot.”

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman said: “Temporarily closing Madeira Drive has allowed cyclists and pedestrians to exercise safely during the Covid-19 public health crisis and we have received a lot of positive feedback.

“We will continue to listen to residents, businesses and events organisers about vehicle access to Madeira Drive and have launched an online survey where people can give us their views.”

You can fill out the survey at: