New car events on Brighton seafront could get the red light


New events featuring cars and other petrol powered vehicles may not go ahead on Brighton seafront in future.

A call from Green councillors to review  any events involving “the display or racing of vehicles with a combustion engine” on a case-by-case basis was approved on Thursday night. 

Brighton and Hove City Council’s  Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee also approved a feasiblity report on  applying an environmental impact charge on commercial events on Madeira Drive.

Green councillor Clare Rainey saidl  ast year nine out of eighteen events along Madeira Drive involve displaying or racing cars, motorbikes and other vehicles with combustion engines.

She said: “We are not proposing to stop any current car related events.

“We’re just asking that new events that involve displaying vehicles should come before the committee.”

Green councillor Steph Powell said until vehicles change to electric and solar, cars will damage the environment.

She said: “The council has declared a climate emergency. We have been told by leading scientists that in 20 years before the coastline of Britain will be under water.

“We will be paddling around the pier in more ways than one.”

She urge councillors to work together.

Labour councillor Amanda Evans welcomed the move but pointed out other events also cause congestion and result in extra traffic.

An example she gave was the congestion around the London to Brighton bike ride as riders are transported out of the city by car or van because trains no longer carry bicycles.

She said: “I’m not for one moment suggesting we cancel all car events in the city.

“It is a bug bear as a resident who travels by bus across the city, crossing the main route out of Brighton.

“During summer weekends it is a nightmare to get across the Mini Rally, the Volkswagen Rally, the traffic is at a stand still. Roadworks or not.”

Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth, who is also the party’s parliamentary candidate for Hove, argued car related events “bring joy” to many people.

He said: “I suspect Madeira Drive has less fumes during the speed trials than when it’s open on a normal day.

“There are many fewer cars driving along it. There are many fewer cars driving along it.”

He pointed out 40,000 coming to the Brighton Marathon had an impact due to transporting people to it and there are Minis driving along the road ahead of the runners.

He voted against the proposals along with fellow Conservative councillor Mary Mears.

She reminded councillors visitors to events make a huge amount of money for the city’s economy.

Councillor Mears said: “People need to be careful what they do not want to see in the city.

“You need to understand how it works and how it survives. Closing down events will leave the council out of pocket.”

She said referring car-related events to the committee would have councillors sitting on the chamber forever.

Committee chair, Labour councillor Alan Robins said: “No one is saying we should turn Madeira Drive to a hot car racing track, but at the same time we should be mindful what goes on down there.”

A report into an environmental impact charge will go before the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee in March 2020.

  1. Bored Local Reply

    Which event leaves more plastic bottles, trash and litter everywhere? A marathon or a Classic Car Run?

  2. death by virtue Reply

    and this is why i stopped voting labor or green …

  3. gilbert bligh Reply

    Talk about the clueless morons on the council – totally needless bus lanes in Lewes Road that have been recently shut for months that have clogged brighton all the way to Coldean Lane and the top of Ditchling Road.
    Filtered bus lights that trap traffic flow next to St Peters church causing queuing traffic all the way to the Old Steine – a madcap scheme to replace the Old Steine roundabout with a t junction that every single taxi driver says is going to cause further congestion and impact on people wanting to visit Brighton.
    You couldn’t make it up – they are stupid beyond belief.
    What they should really do is an environmental impact study on the increase in pollution since the introduction of the bus lanes – you don’t need a study though – just look at the queues of traffic – Other cities like Birmingham and Liverpool have got rid of some bus lanes for this very reason

  4. Mr M Frost Reply

    The No1 car related pollution award has to go to the Mini rally which has hundreds of these idiots driving in convoy around the city completely fouling up all major routes with stationery traffic pouring out polluting gases. Its criminal.

  5. Still Bored Local Reply

    Gilbert, you are not supposed to point out the obvious. They will delete your post if you do that. No matter which colour is in charge of the council they are all as bad as each other. Ultimately they want to put a Congestion Charge into place alongside the Parking Charges and Parking Zones.

    As to pollution and buses – just go to North Street ever since they removed the bus stops and made the pavements wider. Now the buses can’t get past each other when one is stopped to pick up passengers. You can taste the fumes in the air.

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