Revised plan for controversial Brighton road layout scheme to be shared with councillors

Posted On 22 Oct 2019 at 12:23 pm

Alternative plans for a controversial road layout scheme in the centre of Brighton are to be shared with councillors this week.

The Valley Gardens Forum, a group of residents and businesses, is due to present its vision for the project known as “Valley Gardens phase 3” to Brighton and Hove City Council at Hove Town Hall on Thursday (24 October).

It proposes keeping bicycles away from the main road traffic in the Old Steine area, making key junctions safer for pedestrians and retaining the Aquarium roundabout.

The project’s main funder, the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said that the scheme offered low value for money.

But last week it approved a £6 million grant towards the £8 million cost of phase 3 of the project.

The scheme is intended to make the Valley Gardens area – between St Peter’s Church and the seafront – better for cyclists, pedestrians and those using public transport.

Critics are concerned that phase 3 – the southern end of the scheme – would not only choke traffic but would also choke cyclists and pedestrians as it appears to add to pollution levels by design.

It has attracted widespread opposition from tourism chiefs, business bosses, the taxi trade and some bus companies and passenger groups, among others.

The Forum said: “The council appears to have acknowledged that community and stakeholder involvement may have fallen short over the last year.

“There is talk of inviting residents and business leaders to be part of a ‘task and finish group’ and ‘workshops’ to develop the detailed design.

“To that end, the release of the Valley Gardens Forum’s alternative plan for Valley Gardens phase 3 may be timely.

The Valley Gardens Froum’s annotated alternative plan is intended to build on the best of the council’s proposals for the Old Steine area

“First sketched in January this year in response to a request from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), it has been through several iterations with continuing community stakeholder consultation – and is based on the best elements of the council’s earlier design options.

“Forum member Serena Burt will present the attached annotated plan to the full council meeting this week.

“At the same meeting, Conservative councillors Joe Miller and Robert Nemeth will introduce the following motion.

“Ensure that Valley Gardens phase 3 is subject to a full environmental impact assessment and that the Duke’s Mound junction proposal will be subject to a full public consultation in the context that it not only impacts Valley Gardens phase 3 but also impacts on the A259 coastal road and the Waterfront/Blackrock development.

“The Valley Gardens Forum has been calling for a full environmental impact assessment for almost a year.

The Valley Gardens Forum hopes to persuade councillors that its proposals would provide better value and improve the area for cyclists, pedestrians and bus passengers

“The council’s Valley Gardens phase 3 ‘stage 2’ report casually states ‘no air or noise modelling has been undertaken’.

“Satisfying this request need not be politicised. Whether or not required under statute, with citizens’ concerns about the air they breathe close to the top of the local political agenda, why object?

“Following the recent People’s Parliament event, independent councillor Bridget Fishleigh wrote to our three Labour and Green MPs to ask them to support our call for an environmental impact assessment over the whole Valley Gardens project.

“Carrying it out would be a key step in restoring the community’s confidence in the scheme.”

  1. Max Reply

    The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)is right to say this alternative is poor. It forces cyclists and pedestrians into conflict and keeps the Aquarium junction very dangerous.

    • Rolivan Reply

      Perhaps Cyclists could use Pool Valley as an entrance and exit from The Old Steine if they want to access the Seafront Cycle Lane and use the East St Crossing?

      • Rob Arbery Reply

        Ironically the Valley Gardens forum suggested this but even though the entrance is wide enough for coaches we were told by the cycling lobby it’s not wide enough for cyclists? Pool Valley would make a great cycle park and the coaches are happy not to use it. But we all know this isn’t about improving cycling access/ pedestrian safety or uptake on public transport. It’s all about making it tougher and less attractive to drive through Brighton.

  2. sheila Reply

    Max, it was the council’s plan that was poor value for money. Most of the accidents near the roundabout involve cyclist riding into pedestrians.

  3. Kevin Smith Reply

    It’s astonishing if there has been no Environmental Impact Assessment. The council say they want to be carbon neutral, but deliberately creating extra congestion will do the opposite. Seems like Labour and Greens might not be so green if they won’t allow an Environmental Impact Assessment. Add this to the nonsense with the taxi rank being moved at Brighton Station and soon we’ll have more Air Quality Management Areas than any town or city of a similar size. Only in our case, they will be the result of the council knowingly adding to pollution levels.

  4. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    It is shame that the coach set-up at the dismal Pool Valley was not moved the Station around 2000 when proposals for that area began.

    • Rolivan Reply

      Christopher the new plans look like Pool Valley Coach Stop will only allow a few Coaches in at a time and yet we are told to use Public Transport.I still think a Park and ride including Coach Station could and should be built at Falmer for obvious reasons.

      • Christopher Hawtree Reply

        It takes huge management for Falmer parking on a Saturday (I watched it while on Planning). I find it hard to envisage as a week-long matter.

        • Rolivan Reply

          Surely it would be better than Brigbton Station and also at least 30,000 visiting the Amex in a few hours causes a different problem than a Park and ride.

  5. Wendy frost Reply

    Stop spending our hard earned money changing the lay out of our roads.waisting millions of pounds where it could be used for more important urgent things!

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