Madeira Drive events will return, council says

Posted On 16 Jul 2020 at 1:05 pm


Events such as the Veteran Car Run will return to Madeira Drive, the city council has pledged weeks after saying the road’s closure could become permanent.

The seafront road has been closed for most of lockdown to motorised traffic to give people more space to run and cycle.

Brighton and Hove’s Conservatives raised concerns about the future of the many car-centred events which take place there, and last month the Labour administration said the future of these – and whether the road remains closed – would be reviewed in the autumn.

But this week, it pledged that these events would return “stronger than ever before” even if the road was not reopened at other times.

Gary Wilkinson, deputy chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee said: “Madeira Drive has a long history of hosting key events in the city including the Brighton Marathon, the London to Brighton Bike Ride and the Veteran Car Run, and we fully support those events returning stronger than ever before.

“They are an iconic part of the city’s culture and success and we look forward to them being part of our city’s future for years to come.

“At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we temporarily closed the road to motor vehicles to provide a safe space for our residents to walk and cycle.

“The closure has allowed people to exercise while being able to keep a safe distance from one another and we have received a lot of positive feedback from those who’ve used the space over the last few months.

“While the temporary road closure remains in place, Madeira Drive will be open and available when necessary to host these events in both the short and long term. We will continue to work with event organisers to ensure a full programme can return to Madeira Drive in a healthier, stronger and safer city.

“We will be bringing forward this programme to committee in September.”

Councillor Robert Nemeth said: “I’m pleased we’ve put the brakes on Labour’s plan and I welcome confirmation that the future of motoring events on Madeira Drive is now secure.

“It’s a win for the Old Crocks, the Speed Trials, the Mods, The Rockers, the Minis and all of the other loved motoring events that take place on Madeira Drive” he said.

“It should never have had to come to this – Labour should never have put our famous events under review.

“These events bring in millions of pounds in tourism revenue every year and are a key part of the fabric of the city.

“They are valued by our City’s residents and one of the highest-signed petitions of all time to the council was to save the Speed Trials – it is staggering that Labour put these events at risk.

“The Conservatives will continue to stand up for our historic motoring events on Madeira Drive.”

A consultation on all the temporary changes to the city’s roads during the lockdown can be found here.

  1. Al Reply

    Interesting that the Conservatives ONLY care about the planet-polluting events being put on over everything else. The Speed Trials aren’t even the biggest event on the calendar.

    This from the party that wants to ruin the junction by the Palace Pier. They are fed up with experts and have always had the self-entitled attitude of thinking they know better. They don’t.

    • Rolivan Reply

      Why are the Conservatives trying to ruin the Palace Pier Junction?
      Keeping a roundabout in a bigger form would be the better solution,the only people benefiting from traffic lights would be Siemens.

      • Peter Reply

        Not sure you have that right Rolivan.

        From what I understand the Cons are against a T junction to replace the roundabout. It is Labour and Greens that want to kill traffic movement there

        • Rolivan Reply

          It was a question I was putting to Al.

  2. Paul J Williams Reply

    Partially good news but Madeira Drive remains closed, negatively impacting on our struggling local economy and the matter will be put before Full Council on 23rd July.
    Meantime petition to reopen Madeira Drive to all users heading for 10,000 signatures.
    https://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=694&RPID=36228340&HPID=36228340

  3. Paul J Williams Reply

    PS: For what it’s worth I am no fan of a junction replacing the roundabout either, but that would be a separate battle.
    We used to talk about traffic ‘flow’ in this country. Now it is all about how to obstruct traffic and create unnecessary pollution.

  4. Nathan Adler Reply

    You have to laugh at Cllr Wilkinson saying the closure is ‘popular’, (can anyone else here the echo). Labour would do well to look at the numbers on the epetitions and get on with reopening Madeira Drive and doing what Cllr Platts pledged putting jobs and livelihoods first.

  5. roy pennington Reply

    this admin. is inept and corrupt

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