Assurances over Valley Gardens have been given by the council

There have been numerous letters in recent days and weeks in local papers about the Valley Gardens Phase 3 scheme.

I have been reported as saying that reassurances needed to be given in writing on five key areas.

These areas were 1) egress from Madeira Drive 2) additional tree planting on Kemp Town side 3) bus stops on the Kemp Town side 4) access for event organisers 5) bike lane alignment at both Old Steine and by the Palace Pier to move away from pedestrians and events.

Yesterday the council wrote to me addressing the five key areas, stating that they would incorporate all these points in the next design phase and making clear that the safety compromise was to improve the economic impact of the scheme.

The Spearhead

I said all along that with written assurances, the funding should be granted with those points as conditions.

I also note that councillors have set out their views in the media on safety at the Palace Pier roundabout which I quite agree needs to be improved.

The proposed scheme is a compromise. It’s not the very safest but it is a great deal safer than the current arrangement.

It is right that the community and the local MP push for the council to improve the details of the design but it would be irresponsible for councillors or MPs to suggest that the £6 million not be given to the city at all.

This money cannot be spent on any other project and has the potential to greatly improve our local area through Valley Gardens Phase 3.

With this in mind and following assurances by the council on the five areas set out above, I have written to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) outlining my support for the principle of the scheme and urging them to approve the funding.

I hope that the LEP will support our city’s continued growth with this grant and that the community and council can work together to get the detail right.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle is the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown.

  1. Rolivan Reply

    The easiest solution is to increase the size of the roundabout back to that of the 50s.
    Is it possible to synchronise the proposed traffic lights without hindering pedestrians and causing untold congestion?
    Perhaps it lies in the lap of the Gods,perhaps Mr Lloyd-Moyle could throw himself at Bercow again.

  2. Steve Reply

    Who’s Mr Lloyd-Moyle?

  3. Louise Thomas Reply

    So, are you saying the five lanes of traffic to be concentrated entirely on the east side is now a fait accompli?
    If so, is ANY consideration still being given regarding what was a major concern – that St James’ and Kemptown would become ‘cut off’ from the centre? (Not to mention the concentration of pollution.)

  4. Avril Dean Reply

    IT seems from Lloyd-Moyles comments that this ill thought out project is going ahead merely to obtain the funding. Money ill spent.

  5. Billy Reply

    I have very strong reservations about the impact of this Valley Gardens project on the city.
    There ARE very good points about the plans, namely that the central Valley Gardens space gets reclaimed as some sort of public place and central park.
    I also welcome the wider pavements, and the direct cycle lanes – rather than the mess the central cycle lane is now.
    We also get the piazza outside St Peters, and other performance spaces and leisure areas outside the Pavilion etc.
    But the underlying issues are still there. Firstly this is being sold as helping road safety, when the facts don’t add up in that argument. Secondly, the original project was also supposed to create a ‘Green Lung’ in the city centre, but it’s clear that changes to the plans mean we now get traffic log jams, adding to pollution. Grass areas will also be paved, because the cuts to the parks department mean we can’t have any new spaces that require regular gardening. Watch the chewing gum accumulate on this eating slabs.
    For those that fear the ‘five lane superhighway, don’t worry, because the traffic will be much slower than that, and we already have that road width along sections of the seafront anyway – if you count the traffic lanes.
    What we should really worry about is that this project is solely about getting funding and for the council to claim they have achieved great change at a time when all other services have been cut.
    The most stupid idea from this project is that, under Phase three, pedestrians and cyclists will be directed straight at the Palace Pier junction, the busiest in the city. Why would you do that?
    There is no logical reason to do that, or to remove the roundabout, other than to slow down through-centre city traffic. OK. If other routes for essential commuter and delivery cars and bus services had been provided, or if we had more park and ride schemes, than that fundamental change might be more acceptable.
    You kinda have to see how the local access, and visitor parking, and access for those needing to get to work in cars, or for traffic heading the hospital, will all take a big hit in favour of people walking about – those lucky ones who don’t need cars but who already have several other routes they can take, whatever their starting point or destinations.
    The greatest shame of this scheme is also that it does nothing to improve the flow of public transport in the city. We have no underground here, and no trams, or overhead monorail, and yet the privatised buses (which already only run routes which are profitable) will be slowed down, just as they were when North Street was remodelled, stupidly without bus laybys. We already know that the remodelling of North Street created the pollution hotspot that it now is.
    The jury is still out over how badly these changes will fuck up the essential traffic flow in Valley Gardens, and the air quality.
    What we will soon notice however, is how difficult it is to cross the city from west to east or vice versa. If you’re a tourist arriving from out of town, then next time you’ll probably choose elsewhere.

  6. Send Kitcat The Bill Reply

    Can’t wait to leave the city. Dirty, dangerous and run by politicians who could not find their backsides with both hands.

  7. A now-ex-Labour voter Reply

    Mr Moyle’s position on this can best be described as flaky. His voters live to the East of the Old Steine and some of them will be feel (breathe in) the effects of this folly more than others. Some may forgive him or overlook this, but many won’t. Besides, the new superhighway, which will cut off Kemp Town from the commercial centre of Brighton, looks set to entrench the current conditions, eg, poverty, just East of the Steine/A23. Mr Moyle has done his voters a grave disservice with his U-turn in support of his Labour mates on the Council.

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