OPINION

It’s the perfect time to investigate extending Volk’s Railway

Posted On 17 Aug 2020 at 6:55 pm

Councillor Steve Bell

With major public works currently being planned at both ends of the Volk’s Railway line, a golden opportunity has presented itself to investigate extending the world’s oldest electric railway in both directions.

Volk’s Electric Railway currently has three stations – Black Rock, Halfway and Aquarium Station.

With Brighton and Hove City Council committees currently looking at major public works to increase seafront public space at the derelict Black Rock site and next to the pier at the Aquarium Roundabout, there is an opportunity to build in plans to extend the railway in both directions, adding two new stations at the Marina and the i360.

A new five-station extended Volks Railway running east-west between the Marina and the i360 would have to potential to link up the tourist attractions in our city, boost the struggling visitor economy and help businesses across the seafront boom post covid-19.

And combined with a renewed focus on restoring the Madeira Arches – by investing the £11 million secured by the Conservatives specifically for this purpose – this could form part of joined-up seafront upgrade we can all be proud of.

The Conservative group wants to see Brighton and Hove’s heritage restored – not only to restore pride in the city but also to bring back the bustling tourism we were once known for.

A recent survey that showed Brighton and Hove was left languishing as a below average resort in 66th place out of 105 in a tourism survey of Britain’s seaside towns.

What an indictment of the recent Labour and Greens administrations.

The last Conservative administration managed to restore some of our heritage, most notably the bandstand.

But the famous Madeira Lift was also repaired and we ensured the eight miles of seafront railings were regularly painted.

We will continue to put forward plans to restore our heritage on the seafront, boost tourism and kick-start a post-covid recovery that unites the city.

Councillor Steve Bell is the leader of the Conservative group on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. ChrisC Reply

    So he wants to close off a large part of the sea front so the Volks can run past the pier to the i360?

    Because it will have to be fenced off for safety and needing many bridges over it so people can cross the line safely like it is on its current route. And that would also limit aceess to the beach level businesses as well.

    Or does he want to run it at the road level where it would still need fencing off as well.

    And for it to become an effective part of the transport syetem not just a tourist attraction it really needs to become double tracked otherwise the number of trains it can run will be severely restricted. And it would need to run for far more of the year than it does now.

  2. Jon Reply

    This is nonsense. The Conservatives haven’t secured £11 million. The council doesn’t have enough money to restore the terraces. We’re heading towards the biggest recession ever and he wants to invest in the least efficient transport system in Brighton which is closed for 4 months a year. Maybe now’s the time for a Garden Bridge

  3. Billy Reply

    We are seriously lacking in public transport in this city but the Volk’s railway is a fun ride for kids and tourist attraction, not a stopping service.
    People who think it can be used as a modern seafront shuttle service have clearly not been on it.
    If there’s money to spend can we have that used to restore the Madeira Terraces first.

  4. Paul Hove Reply

    This was proposed many years ago before the king Alfred development was stopped by the nimby brigade. However that would have been a new monorail from the pier along to the Hove lagoon (with stops) plus a complete upgrade of volks into a modern electric railways. With a large car park at the marina and one at Hove lagoon, this would massively decrease traffic and pollution along the sea front. Shame the Greens have never had any sort of ambition or vision, but instead persist with yet more buses and cycle lanes. Brighton and Hove needs a radical rethink of traffic, not just robbing the disabled of parking bays in favour of cyclists.

  5. Peter Williams Reply

    There is merit in extending Volk’s Electric Railway to the new development at Black Rock (back to its old terminus) but remember,it is a heritage railway that should not be considered as a main transport link. As the world’s oldest operating electric railway it has a special place in Brighton’s history.

  6. Kevin Barry Reply

    Great idea, up the voltage so much quicker, can add a skip as last carriage for beach goes to dump thier rubbish.

  7. Rolivan Reply

    I have been saying for a while now that it is a shame that the Kemptown Railway line was closed as it would have created a great link with the Hospital. and could have gone on to The Marina as a light railway then linking the Seafront with a Tram going West.

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