Traffic may be disrupted, a senior councillor warned, as work starts on the next stage of the Valley Gardens scheme in the centre of Brighton.
Brighton and Hove City Council said: “The next critical stage of works on the Valley Gardens project will take place from next week (Monday 2 September) when we will begin the switchover of general traffic to the eastern side of the gardens.
“This will allow shared spaces to be constructed on the western side to provide
- a new consistent bus and taxi lane
- two cycle routes that will provide access to businesses and residential areas
- wider pavements which will provide greater scope for cafés, bars and restaurants to have outdoor seating areas
“In preparation for the switchover of general traffic, there will be no access to general traffic at York Place.
“Signed diversions are in place at the exit points at North Road and Marlborough Place to ensure drivers are aware of diversion routes when travelling around the area.
“Buses will continue to operate as normal throughout the area and we are working with residents and businesses to ensure access throughout the works.
“In the final scheme, private traffic will be able to access the new western bus and taxi corridor but will be prevented from travelling all the way along Valley Gardens on the western side.
“The switchover of general traffic will simplify and improve the movement of traffic, by moving buses, taxis and local access on to a consistent route that will run along the western side of Valley Gardens and keep private vehicles on the eastern side.
“By creating a new road layout, we will be able to reclaim some of the public space which is currently given over to vehicles.
“This will enable us to instal new crossings throughout the area, including widened pavements and new paths across the central green spaces.
“Works are already under way to provide simple, direct and consistent cycle routes on both sides of the gardens.
“The two quieter cycle routes on the western side will be in addition to the dedicated cycle lane along the eastern side of the gardens.”
Councillor Anne Pissaridou, who chairs the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “Works on the Valley Gardens project are at an important stage, which will see one of the major improvements take place.
“The switchover of general traffic to the eastern side of the gardens will enable works to progress on the western side to create shared space for dedicated cycle lanes, wider footways and more access to public space.
“Changing the traffic routes around the gardens will also open up a new central park for residents and visitors to enjoy.
“We have worked closely with the contractors to develop traffic management plans in order to ensure minimal disruption to residents and visitors.
“As with any major project, there may be some temporary disruption and we thank everyone for their patience while these works take place.”