Council redraws ‘dangerous’ Madeira Drive parking bays

Posted On 27 Jul 2015 at 5:01 pm

Parking bays along Madeira Drive which were moved to avoid the crumbling terraces will have to be moved once again at a further cost of £5,000 to add to the original £10,000 bill.

Madeira terraces fenced off. Picture by Ken Frost

Madeira terraces fenced off. Picture by Ken Frost

The bays were redrawn with a loss of 40 bays and the barricades around the terraces extended in May after a structural report found the cast iron holding them up had crumbled and corroded beyond repair.

But road safety concerns coupled with lobbying from businesses including Yellowave have prompted Brighton and Hove City Council to redraw bays east of Concorde2 once again.

The bays, which are currently perpendicular on the north side of the road, will now be parallel east of Concorde2 on both sides, and white centre line markings will be made to the narrower eastern end of the road.

The lower £1 an hour parking price of the eastern bays will be extended to 20 bays just west of Concorde2, at an annual cost of £80,000, on top of the £130,000 annual cost of losing the 40 bays in May.

Neil Sykes, secretary of the Brighton Seafront Traders Association, who also runs the Modern World Gallery on Madeira Drive, said the changes would improve safety, but traders like him on the west side of Madeira Drive would still be affected.

He said: “The council spent £10,000 on road markings a few weeks ago, but they  created more problems than they have solved.

“One of the big issues down here is people who are parking have no side pavement to step into, they have to get out of the car straight into a busy road with speeding traffic.

“It completely wipes out footfall to the north side of Madeira Drive. I have been here since 9am today and I have had one person in my shop. We’re taking nothing every single day of the week, unless there’s an event here.

“They have left us pretty much in no man’s land. We are the paying tenants and we’re maintaining these buildings on the council’s behalf – what do we get back for it? There’s no compensation or rent relief, and we’ve been told it could be like this for years and years.”

A report to the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee on July 7 said: “The removal of approximately 40 spaces coupled with half of those removed being low tariff bays has led to affordability concerns for visitors.

“The remaining 30 low tariff bays are very well used which means many visitors usually only have the option of parking in high tariff bays during the summer period (May to October)

“There are concerns the revised layout increases risk of incursion by passing traffic, since the parking bays next to it have been removed.

“It has also been suggested that the speed of traffic has increased between the base of Dukes Mound and the barriers which increases collision risk for people using the parking bays on the north side of Madeira Drive, including children crossing the road from the north side.”

The council’s transport chief Gill Mitchell said the proposals made by officers had been agreed by the committee on safety grounds, adding: “We are also seeing if we can find further parking spaces to the west of Madeira Drive.”

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