Traders in one of Brighton’s busiest shopping streets have told of their dismay at plans to allow cars back into the road after two years of pedestrianisation.

Gardner Street in North Laine has been closed to cars for large parts of the day with tables and chairs set up in the road for customers to enjoy the outdoors.

But Brighton and Hove City Council now plans to allow cars to use the road more often.

Traders are furious and say the decision will kill the positive feel of the road and cost their businesses thousands.

Adam LeRoy, who has owned Jump the Gun in Gardner Street for three decades, said: “It [pedestrianisation] benefits everyone, not just businesses.

The Argus: Adam Le Roy, owner of Jump the GunAdam Le Roy, owner of Jump the Gun (Image: Andrew Gardner | The Argus)

“The decision would affect the community and the whole feel of the North Laine. It stops a lot of people from wandering through happily.”

Currently cars are banned from Gardner Street from 11am until 5pm every day, allowing pedestrians to walk in the road and sit outside.

New plans proposed by the council would re-open the road from Monday to Thursday and close it to traffic from 11am to 9pm on Fridays, weekends and public holidays.

The plans are a response to a complaint from a disabled resident of the street who said their freedom was hindered by the traffic ban.

Councillors said the new scheme is about striking a balance between providing the accessibility that disabled residents need and maintaining the “vibrant” shopping experience in Gardner Street and North Laine.

One Gardner Street trader told The Argus she was worried that if the changes go ahead children “could walk into the road into oncoming traffic” and that “something really sad might happen”.


Stuart Bell, who owns Triple Point Coffee, said Gardner Street had several toy shops and more cars would mean children were “at much more risk of serious harm”.

The Argus: Stuart Bell, owner of Triple Point coffeeStuart Bell, owner of Triple Point coffee (Image: Andrew Gardner | The Argus)

He said: “I would like to see the whole North Laine area pedestrianised. It’s currently a safe environment for children.”

Traders had a meeting at Jubilee Library with councillors Trevor Muten and Leslie Pumm on Monday and were told the plans were set to go ahead.

Cllr Muten, chairman of the transport and sustainability committee, said: “Our scheme is about balance and getting that balance right.

“It gives the traders the best opportunities on the busiest days but also gives someone who needs access that access.

“The vibrancy in Gardner Street is exactly what we are trying to protect.”