Madeira Drive to reopen to traffic next week

Posted On 16 Oct 2020 at 10:09 am

Madeira Drive is to reopen to vehicles early next week, with a new cycle lane being built soon after.

Cars will be able to drive the length of the road one way from the Palace Pier to Duke’s Mound.

For the moment, cyclists can use the existing cycle lane and have the option of cycling eastbound in the general traffic lane.

A new two-way 4m wide cycle lane is being constructed in the coming weeks, which will replace the existing cycle lane and free up more of the pavement for pedestrians.

Parking on the north of the road will be restored, with disabled parking on the south and some general spaces near Yellowave also opened.

The reopening comes almost exactly six months after the road was closed to all general traffic in April, to allow space for people to exercise at a safe distance from others while traffic levels were low.

Disabled drivers were allowed access to the road throughout the closure.

After traders along Madeira Drive complained that customers were finding it impossible to park nearby, the council allowed traffic to return to a short section by Duke’s Mound in the summer.

And last month, councillors agreed to reopen the whole stretch to one-way motorised traffic.

Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee, Amy Heley said: “I’m pleased we have found an option that will allow everyone to travel in Madeira Drive safely while supporting our local businesses. This demonstrates our willingness to listen and adapt our plans to changing circumstances and needs of different users.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Madeira Drive as a space that can be continued to be enjoyed by all users. Cyclists will have use of a spacious and protected cycle lane; pedestrians can walk freely on the upper promenade and those who do need to use a vehicle will still be able to do so.

“I’m also pleased that there will be an increase in parking for Blue Badge holders.

“We are still in the middle of a pandemic, and there is an ongoing need to physically distance ourselves, but we also want everyone to enjoy safe and accessible travel around our city and to improve infrastructure for active travel.”

The work will be done in two phases. Phase one, which is currently underway and will be completed early next week, will mean:

Vehicles will be able to travel eastbound along the full length of Madeira Drive, exiting at Duke’s Mound. New lining and signage will assist drivers with the new layout

Cyclists can use the upper promenade cycle facility or cycle eastbound on the carriageway

All parking spaces on the north side of the carriageway will be available to motorists

Parking bays on the south side of the carriageway will be suspended, with the exception of spaces available to Blue Badge holders and close to Yellowave.

A second phase of work, due to be carried out in the coming weeks, will:

  • Reallocate road space to Install a 4m wide protected cycle lane, to ensure the lane is wide enough for all types of bikes
  • Increase the number of Blue Badge bays from 14 to 25
  • Change the orientation of parking and Pay & Display spaces for easier use
  • We will be working to minimise disruption during phase two of the scheme which may also be subject to some minor amendments and checks before implementation.

The changes have been made under an Experimental Traffic Order which means the scheme can be developed further if required.

  1. roy pennington Reply

    where is the “upper promenade”

  2. Rob Arbery Reply

    Just a correction to the article blue badge holders were NOT permitted to use the Road during the closure. The TRO was amended in August to give them access to the changing places facility but not to remain down Madeira Drive. A total cock up and direct discrimination, ( because even the Mott Macdonald report forgot the CP facility), now thankfully to he resolved.

  3. Billy Reply

    Is this a mess, or is is another con?
    So the weather has changed and Madeira Drive has been empty for some time. There is already wide pavement space and a generous cycle lane.
    Under these new plans they are adding a further cycle lane – when cyclists can already use the empty road, just as most of we cyclists already do.
    Some of the car parking outside Yellowave and Concorde II – as mentioned in this article – will in fact be lost. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what mess they make of the road this time – having seen the ridiculous clutter and bizarre duplicate cycle lane already placed along Brighton and Hove seafront.

    On the plus side, cars and visiting coaches can now enter Madeira Drive at the Palace Pier roundabout again, and that is very welcome. But having the length of this road as one way just adds to journey time for anyone wanting to park or to drop off family on Madeira Drive at the Pier end – and so that increases city congestion, with no benefit.

    The council are claiming here to have listened – but really they just realised they wanted their parking and events revenue back.
    And all they’ve really done is to get back to the ridiculous idea that Madeira Drive should be permanently one way, as part of the controversial Valley Gardens phase three plans.

  4. Mel Reply

    I walked along Madeira Drive yesterday afternoon and saw only one cyclist, and a handful of pedestrians, who were not using the pavement. That enormous space was almost completely deserted, apart from one or two cafes that were open, and even they seemed to have very few customers. The council have made such a mess of the whole area, highlighted by the terrible state of the arches. There really is no joy in being there.

    • Neil Reply

      I can’t imagine it would have been much busier on a cold and windy school day in October, even if cars were permitted. It was very busy with all manner of pedestrians, cyclists, skaters etc during the summer and lovely not to have to contest with cars for space.

      Our family used the road almost daily, teaching our children to ride bikes, as well as visiting Yellow Wave, Bison Beach Bar, and the playground. We’ll not return next summer if there’s any traffic – car drivers don’t respect cycle lanes, frequently using them to turn or for temporary parking.

  5. Argusnot Reply

    This council make working folks lives very difficult, then expect you to be grateful after they ‘fix’ the problem they caused?

  6. sammy Reply

    I don’t mind Madeira drive being one way, so long as they don’t prevent the current events that have use it before for many years(Brighton Marathon, Speed Trials, Commercial Vehicles run, VW run, Bonhams, Pride, Motorbike runs).

    I have watched the traffic from the gym there for many years whilst working out, coaches DON’T turn round ever, they always drive down to the Dukes mound end, and then no doubt go sit up near Roedean rd, and wait for their passengers to come back later in the day, you get very few people dropping off people – it’s nearly always people looking for parking spaces who turn round to go back up again whilst looking for one – I’ve seen it thousands of times, the only ones who may be inconvenienced are white van delivery drivers who often do u-turns after a dropoff at the seafront businesses.

  7. George Reply

    Since lockdown Madeira drive has been a haven for safe distancing exercise for people young and old.it was great to see young families cycling together without fear of traffic. I suppose no-one resist the power of the car lobby. Not yet anyhow

    • Nathan Adler Reply

      They can still socially distance they have the widest pavement in Brighton on parts on the promenade and it’s about to get wider with the removal of the cycle lane, (plus miles of Beach!). They can still cycle together with a brand new wider 4m cycle lane. Reopening is NOTHING to do with the car lobby, it is traders, blue badge holders, mods, rockers and the council strapped for revenue that are getting this to reopen with a compromise for everyone, (well accept the bearded weirdo’s who will still want to roller skate down the middle of a road).

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