IT HAS been more than two weeks since cars were banned from much of The Lanes.

Brighton and Hove City Council banned vehicles from 11 roads in the shopping hub on July 9 and created a one-way system for loading vehicles, Blue Badge holders and drivers accessing property. 

Some parking bays were removed to make way for extended pavements, creating extra space for pedestrians to practise social distancing.

But businesses are mixed about the changes, said Gavin Stewart of the Brighton Business Improvement District.

“Some businesses are very much in favour,” he said. “But the loss of loading bays and changes in delivery times is affecting some people adversely.

“Everyone, though, is in agreement something needed to be done and safety is paramount for visitors to the city centre post-Covid.”

>>READ MORE: Number of motorists fined for flouting Lanes car ban revealed

The Argus: Gavin Stewart of the Brighton Business Improvement District said businesses are mixed on a car ban in The LanesGavin Stewart of the Brighton Business Improvement District said businesses are mixed on a car ban in The Lanes

Kellie Miller, owner of Kellie Miller Arts gallery in Market Street, is not happy with the changes.

She says the bans only benefit the hospitality industry and fears it will put people off from driving to the city.

And the gallery owner says she is facing increased staff costs as the Market Street car ban between 11am and 7pm means she must schedule deliveries earlier than before.

“When so much parking has been removed from The Lanes, people are only going to want to carry something around which can fit in their handbag,” Ms Miller said.

“We’re still feeling the effect of increase in car parking charges too. It doesn’t matter where I go, people say Brighton is a beautiful city but parking is too expensive. Brighton doesn’t have a park and ride either.

“I’m also having to change delivery times and come in early, so the council has increased my staff costs.”

Ms Miller is also angry the city council's former Labour administration did not consult businesses before making the move.

The ban was announced by a notice published just eight days before it came into force.

The city council then launched a consultation ending in January on whether the ban should be made permanent.

The Argus: The car ban was introduced under the former Labour administrationThe car ban was introduced under the former Labour administration

“I’m on the Business Improvement District board and I didn’t find out about this until I came across a notice on the street,” Ms Miller said.

“The consultation doesn’t end until January 2021. Some people will go out of business before then. I don’t think the council is supporting retailers to do business.

“Brighton usually hesitates when it comes to big changes, but something so fundamental like this can happen over night. I’m gobsmacked.

“There has to be some sort of consultation as to what sort of city we want to have. Do we just want to be a place for hospitality and shops for tourists?”

A city council spokesman said it had sent the consultation to 2,000 businesses in the area to get their thoughts on the ban.

“We introduced this experimental traffic order to enable Brighton and Hove to reopen as a healthier, stronger and safer city as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

“We have been keen to hear the points of view of local businesses and residents. We encourage residents, businesses and visitors to comment on these experimental changes.

“The current experimental order can only stay in place for 18 months.

"During that time we will review the feedback from the consultation make changes where appropriate within the 18-month period, and plan a more permanent change for the future.”