Madeira Drive on Brighton seafront to reopen after council u-turn

Madeira Drive will reopen – but only for one-way traffic – and changes will be made to the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane to tackle the worst traffic queues.

The decisions were made during a seven-hour “virtual” meeting where campaigners and councillors on both sides of the debate put their case.

It was revealed that the marshalls at the entrance to Madeira Drive – by the Palace Pier and Duke’s Mound – cost £382 a day.

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It was also revealed that Brighton and Hove City Council was footing the bill although most of the lost parking revenue looked likely to be recouped from the government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund.

Other changes during the coronavirus lockdown were funded by the government which wanted to encourage people to walk and cycle because social distancing had reduced the number of seats on public transport.

The council’s u-turn on the closure of Madeira Drive will mean that people can drive from east from the Aquarium roundabout towards Duke’s Mound.

Half the road will be given over to a wider dedicated cycle lane, leaving the pavement for pedestrians.

There will be disabled parking bays, loading bays, a coach drop-off area and some general parking.

The change of heart came after disabled groups and traders criticised the closure, with councillors pledging to consult people with a view to making further adjustments.

Conservative councillor Lee Wares said that he was glad that the other two parties – Labour and the Greens – were backing changes very similar to those he had previously put forward.

But he was less keen on delaying tactics, saying: “We proposed a compromise agreement. You all opposed it.

“Now you want it to go back to one way. We welcome that people have seen the difference that is necessary.

“Let’s not build in more delay. Officers can get on with this straight away we don’t need to do any more detailed design. We need to do this quickly.

“We can rip out cycle lanes within six days when bus companies are asking. The council changed Duke’s Mound very quickly. Change Madeira Drive very quickly too!”

Historic events like the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run would be safe, the meeting of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee was told.

  1. roy pennington Reply

    about time too = illegal closure in the first place

  2. Anna Reply

    Can someone kindly tell me what the reasoning was to close Madeira Drive ?

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