The Aquarium roundabout will be replaced with a new junction in the final phase of the Valley Gardens project which could bring 18 months of traffic disruption.

The Labour administration on Brighton and Hove City Council held a detailed review of the third phase of the scheme but plans to scrap the roundabout have survived.

The new junction will include direct crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists as well as "enhanced signalling" to ensure the flow of traffic, including bus services.

Some “positive adjustments” have been made to the project, including creating more space for buses to allow them to move in and out of bus stops.

The news comes after meetings between councillors and council officers to review the design and study feedback from residents and other stakeholders.

The procurement of a contractor for the project is set to start, with work due to begin shortly after.

The £13 million project is expected to take around 18 months to complete, which could result in disruption to traffic in the city centre until late next year.

The Argus: Work on the final phase of Valley Gardens is expected to take 18 monthsWork on the final phase of Valley Gardens is expected to take 18 months (Image: BHCC)

The plans for the final phase of Valley Gardens, which covers the area from the Old Steine to the seafront, include improved access for public transport, an additional taxi rank near the Palace Pier junction, new separated cycle lanes linking the first two phases of Valley Gardens to the seafront, improved lighting around Old Steine Gardens, and an increase in parking bays for Blue Badge holders.

The first two phases involved changes to the road layout and landscaping from the St Peter's Church area to Old Steine.

Councillor Trevor Muten, chairman of the transport and sustainability committee, said: “I am delighted that we’re now at a stage where we can press ahead with delivering this fantastic project for the city.

“It was right that we asked for a review last summer to ensure that we were going to give residents, businesses and visitors the best possible scheme which delivered on its objectives and worked for everyone.

“Phase 3 will offer a wonderful open green space in the Old Steine and extend the public park that was delivered through phases one and two. The transport improvements will make it much safer for pedestrians and cyclists, whilst ensuring the flow of buses and road traffic through this busy part of our city.”

“We are confident that delivering Valley Gardens phase three will complete the centrepiece of our amazing city that residents and visitors alike will be very proud of.”

The Argus: The first two phases of Valley Gardens were completed in 2020The first two phases of Valley Gardens were completed in 2020 (Image: BHCC)

Valley Gardens is the name given to the green spaces that run from St Peter’s Church to the seafront.

The first two phases, which were completed in September 2020, have seen improvements to open spaces and transport corridors between St Peter’s Church and Old Steine, including new cycle lanes, priority lanes for public transport and landscaped spaces.

Work on the third and final stage of the project began in 2018 and has been subject to three public consultations.

The council hopes the final stage will provide a space that is inclusive and accessible to all, improve road safety and enhance and renew the environment of the city centre.