Residents renew calls for action on rat run dangers

Neighbours living in a city-centre street who have been calling for action to stop dangerous driving for years told councillors of their frustration today (Tuesday, June 23).

People living in Francis Street, which runs beside Brighton’s Open Market from Ditchling Road to London Road, told members of the city council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee they had sent hundreds of emails and photos without solving their problems.

At the virtual meeting on Skype, Stella Sim spoke on behalf of a six-person delegation of residents to raise issues related to their “dangerous street”.

Concerns range from lack of speed limit and one-way signs to cars and vans parked on the pavements.

Ms Sim said: “Residents are just wondering how long it’s going to take?

“Does it take someone being killed on the street before it’s improved?”

St Peter and North Laine Green councillor Sue Shanks supported residents by questioning why nothing has happened at the Hyde Housing development since the committee agree nine improvement measures in June 2017.

The nine measures are:

  • A raised entry to Francis Street from Ditchling Road.
  • Tactile paving at the junctions of London Road and Ditchling Road.
  • Access only restrictions preventing rat-running
  • Planters to protect pedestrian areas.
  • No waiting or loading except in signed bays.
  • Bollards on the southern side of the road near the junctions to protect pedestrians.
  • Replacement of damaged street light.
  • Removal of redundant road markings.
  • Left-turn ban except for cyclists from London Road.

Councillor Shanks said the street is hazardous and none of the suggestions have happened and people had difficulties finding the original drawings.

She said: “I would like the council to listen to residents and block off one entrance to the street.

“We need to stop people using it as a rat-run. People rush right through it.”

Hyde Housing built flats in Francis Street as part of the redevelopment of the Open Market.

Committee chair councillor Anne Pissaridou apologised the measures have taken so long, and officers are reviewing the programme in the next few weeks.

She said: “I will ensure we will communicate with everybody what will be happening and when it will happen in order that we finally create a more livable and more people-friendly environment for people in the city.”

Councillor Pissaridou said it would not be possible to block the street as market traders still need to access the road.

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