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.
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.