Rallies ‘not the main consideration’ at Madeira Drive if road remains closed


Motoring events “will not be the focus” of Madeira Drive if the road remains closed.

The revelation came when Green councillor Jamie Lloyd asked if the seafront road will remain traffic-free at Brighton and Hove City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee meeting on Tuesday, 23 June.

Councillor Lloyd asked about the future of vehicle rallies as a follow-up question after initially commenting about the pollution-free atmosphere ending as people get back into their cars.

Assistant director for city transport, Mark Prior said: “Given government restrictions and emerging restrictions, the events programme is unlikely to take place for the foreseeable and is not a consideration.

“If it remains closed, then events will not be the focus and not the main consideration.”

The revelation came just days after Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth put a similar question to the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee on Thursday 18 June.

At that time Labour councillor Carmen Appich did not commit to any position on the future of vehicle events on Madeira Drive saying the situation will be reviewed “in the autumn”.

Vehicle-led events include the Speed Trials, VW Brighton Breeze, Ace Café Burn up, Pioneer Motorcycle Run, Veteran Car Run, and Brightona.

Madeira Drive remains closed temporarily from the Aquarium to Duke’s Mound.

Businesses along the seafront road are concerned long-term closure will impact on their business.

Future proposals under investigation include keeping the stretch from the Palace Pier to Duke’s Mound closed, but allowing traffic to come down the slope at Duke’s Mound to access Black Rock.

Another option is one-way access from the Aquarium roundabout to Duke’s Mound, with more walking and cycling space and parking on the southern side.

A third alternative is to close the road at the Aquarium end but still allow two-way traffic.

The final option is to return the road to its original state with two-way traffic in both directions.

  1. PJ Williams Reply

    Clearly the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee do not give a fig about the city’s future and how it will generate new income post-Covid if not by boosting tourism and jobs.
    They are bent on an agenda which no normal person is allowed to have input into. Cllr Ware is the only one with any common sense and multiple brain cells but is hopelessly outnumbered by Common Purpose numbskulls.

  2. Robbo Reply

    It is crucial that Public Events continue along Madeira Drive. They provide Brighton/Hove Residents and Visitors with a range of activities. The Events are vital for tourism. And with renovated arches on Madeira Drive would help return the area to its former glory – could be even better!

  3. Adrian Reply

    I took a stroll along Madeira Drive today and it is the busiest that I have seen it on a Tuesday evening in many years.

    Previously it was a bit grim with cars going over the limit but now it is my favourite beach spot. People playing, cycling and running in the street. More people on the beach. It has a really nice vibe and great air.

    I cannot speak more highlly of it now.

  4. Billy Reply

    Weird. I too was there on Tuesday evening and it was so quiet on Madeira Drive itself that I took photos, because it was so deserted.
    The beach was however busy as it was a lovely evening.
    I was cycling home to the west and the beach west of the Palace Pier was obviously much busier, as it always is. Even at 10pm.
    And then Hove was busy too, with all the cars parked on the seafront which once would have parked on Madeira Drive.
    People were out late because of the warm evening and late evenings we get at the summer solstice. But Madeira Drive was the dead part of town.
    Go see for yourself.

  5. Rob A Reply

    Has as administration in cohoots with an over zealous Green Party group ever been more anti tourist and anti Brighton. I have seen plenty of evidence showing a deserted Madeira Drive, and cycling along there myself can confirm this. Closing the road will kill the area. Their isn’t a plan – its just green signialing and damned be Brightonians.

  6. Bob Reply

    The Annual Jaguar run moved to Eastbourne a couple of years back. I believe that one of the reasons given was that the council had raised the Madeira Drive fees by 300%.

    I can imagine that all those now planning events for next year will also be scared off by the uncertainty.

    Brighton has to realise that it is competing with other resorts for tourist money (if it actually wants it). Once the big events have gone, it will be very difficult to get them back.

  7. Greg morris Reply

    Let the rallies go ahead if the road is closed the rest of the time to offset the carbon emissions from those mass gatherings of antique motors.

  8. Charles Ross Reply

    Get rid of the cars and the speed trials and the bike rallies – tear the road up and put some grass down and plant some trees

  9. Geoff Reply

    My mother is disabled. She used to enjoy visiting the Brighton Palace Pier. I would drive her there, parking in the disabled bays along Madeira drive, then she would be able to walk with her wheeled walker onto the pier. Now that Maderia drive is closed, my mother, a lifelong Brighton resident, is unable to visit the Pier, or the Brighton promenade. Closing Madeira Drive to vehicles is discrimination against the disabled.

  10. Mr Colin Coiley Reply

    So disappointed to read this.
    We travel from Glasgow every year for the annual Auvust Bank Holiday scooter rally to enjoy the massive array of classic scooters on display and to enjoy the music and live bands, and take in the other splendours Brighton has to offer, my wife’s favourite eaterie being The Regency.

    We as I am sure many others do, amy contribute amply to the cities economy over our 5 day stay…choosing to to stay at locations such as The Grand and Hilton Hotels..as well as as supporting the local businesses located at Madiera Drive.

    For this and other events not to take place at this iconic location would be extremely sad.

  11. Tim Scott Reply

    Closing Madeira Drive to all the vehicle related events will only mean organisations will find alternative venues which would see Brighton heading for a similar future as Blackpool that now survives (barely) on stag and hen parties.
    Be careful Brighton of what you wish for.

  12. Colin Whiteland Reply

    Well I visited Brighton about ten days ago with three disabled children we usually park our minibus in the disabled bay close by the pier. To my shock Madeira drive was closed to all vehicles, and a Police officer on duty at the island entrance to Madeira Drive told me abruptly to go elsewhere, the drive was closed for good. My family have always enjoyed visiting Madeira Drive Brighton the parking was easy and close to the Pier, the electric railway, ice creams, and fish and chips….now all lost because of Green activists, it was a very sad day for my family, we will now have to find somewhere else where we will be welcomed to spend our day, and our money.

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