Roadworks have been banned from the centre of Brighton during the Christmas shopping period for the third year.
She said: “I am baffled by the elaborate speculation of The Argus about whether roadworks will cause ‘gridlock’ in Brighton and Hove city centre this Christmas.”
The report was published under the headline “Roadworks could ruin our Christmas” on Tuesday 5 October.
Councillor Mears said: “The council has banned all planned roadworks from the central shopping area for a month from (Friday) 3 December.
“In fact, this is the third year we have taken this step to eradicate the impact of roadworks on pre-Christmas trading.”
She said that the Argus report highlighted two sites in Brighton to support its “doom-laden predictions” – resurfacing in Western Road and cabling in Grand Parade.
She said that both sets of roadworks were due to end today and added: “Hardly a threat to festive trade.”
Councillor Mears said that the Western Road resurfacing work had been taking place at night to minimise disruption the local economy.
She said: “There are several other successful steps we take in our efforts to reduce congestion caused by roadworks.
“One, for example, is encouraging utilities firms to co-ordinate maintenance so two or more jobs can be done together in the same hole at the same time.
“Another is talking to traders’ representatives when big jobs are planned, like the North Laine Southern Water roadworks.
“In this case, we involved Soozie Campbell, the city centre manager, in the planning of the work.”
Councillor Mears added that the sort of “ill-informed scare-mongering” in the Argus report had a “far greater potential to damage Christmas trade than any of the roadworks referred to”.
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