PART of a major city centre development project has been opened up to residents after a dramatic transformation.

Grass, wildflowers, a widened bike lane and a network of interlinking paths now fill the area of Brighton between St Peter’s Church and Old Steine as part of the Valley Gardens project.

The gardens in the middle of this section of road, formerly known as Victoria Gardens, have been a building site in recent years as the major renovations took place – work began in September 2018.

The Argus:

High fences surrounded the work for many months but now the first part of the project has been reopened to the city.

The three-phase scheme has made great strides during lockdown, with road closures allowing work to continue at an accelerated rate.

Two stages are now complete, with the final step set to overhaul the section of road between Old Steine and the Palace Pier.

The Argus:

This includes changing the Aquarium roundabout for a T-junction, aiming to make the area safer to cross and allow visitors to reach the pier more easily.

Residents are being urged to have their say on the final phase of the project through an ongoing consultation hosted by Brighton and Hove City Council.

The authority says the scheme is part of plans to become carbon neutral by 2030.

It will help achieve this by “increasing the sustainable transport choices for residents, commuters and visitors with new segregated cycle lanes, traffic free walking routes and improved access for public transport”.

The Argus:

Brighton and Hove City Council is also aiming to simplify the road layout between St Peter’s Church and the Aquarium roundabout, with the area currently having the highest collision rate in the city.

There have been 154 crashes on these roads in the last five years, with 30 of these resulting in the serious injury.

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Brighton and Hove City Council is asking for residents’ input on aspects of the redevelopment such as the location of crossings, bus stops, parking, cycle parking, public art, seating and tree planting.

The consultation started late last month and will continue until September 16.