Temporary chicanes placed along Viaduct Road in a bid to calm traffic and make Brighton’s “gateway” more attractive have angered drivers.
The square planters, placed at strategic points along the road, are part of a range of possible measures to remind drivers they are travelling along a residential street with a 20mph limit – which is only now observed by one in five vehicles.
More than 11,000 vehicles travel along the road every day, of which more than half go faster than 30mph, with another 30% between 20mph and 30mph.
Other possible solutions include installing a cycle lane or planting trees along the left hand side of the traffic lane.
But motorists say they are actually making the road more dangerous as traffic swerves to avoid them.
The council’s road safety team manager Martin Heath said: “We are responding to residents’ concerns about speeding traffic on the road where they live and are working with the local community to find solutions.
“Road narrowing and intermittent obstructions can change the driver’s perception about the function of the road.
“Further softening of the traffic environment through planting can also create stronger visual clues about the residential nature of the street.
“Following some local public utility work last weekend, which resulted in the closure of a traffic lane, we took the opportunity to introduce some planters to determine the impact that such measures might have on speeds, again to inform decisions about measures later on.
“At this stage, other than an objective to reduce excessive traffic speeds, there are no specific plans for any types of measures. The feedback we receive from the LAT and other stakeholders will be used as a basis for developing options.”
Local businessman Alberto Taverna filmed a video from the dashboard of his car of him driving along the road.
He said: “This is only going to further upset visitors, tourists and locals to boycott Brighton.
“We have run a local restaurant here for 23 years and it’s a shambles. They are slowly blocking the life lines that pump blood to the heart of Brighton. When will it stop?”
In a post on its website, it says: “It’s a gateway into the city from London for every road vehicle – and it’s underperforming.
“There are a number of threads to the problem and one of them is traffic. The speed and noise of traffic simply reinforces the idea that “this is not a residential street to be proud of, and nobody cares”. It would be great to change that perception.
“We know full well that this is an arterial route for the whole of Brighton, and it would not be fair on everyone else to restrict the overall traffic flow into the heart of the city – but there might be ways of persuading drivers to treat the street with respect as a residential street.”
Martin Heath gave a presentation of possible options for Viaduct Road to the LAT last month – you can see his slides here.
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