OPINION

Joy at reopening tempered by need to make seafront safer

Posted On 27 Apr 2021 at 1:26 pm

I felt a real sense of joy running along the seafront recently as I watched people opening up their businesses and others arriving to meet friends for a morning coffee in the sunshine.

So much so, that I felt inspired to run further and see what else was happening by the beach.

Turning back at Rockwater, I saw business owners tidying the areas around their shops, fixing canopies and giving buildings a final lick of paint.

It was like a big spring clean was taking place, ready to welcome back some semblance of normality to our lives – and it was truly heartwarming.

Last week I talked about supporting our local arts and culture sector as the city reopens.

We can also be supporting our hospitality and retail sectors, where local businesses are working hard to bounce back.

I know many of us are excited to wander around the city’s unique shops again, go out for a meal with loved ones or catch up with friends over a drink.

This is possible now – and our local businesses need our support so let’s make the most of it.

Finishing my 8k run at Madeira Drive, with emails from concerned residents in my head about the new road layout, I decided to check how things are developing.

I remain worried that the council has tried to be all things to all people and whether we are squeezing too much into one space.

I witnessed a near miss as a cyclist whizzed the wrong way down the car lane causing the driver to swerve.

And I saw a parent grab a child just before they stepped into the path of a speeding car.

I am hoping the pavement will be widened between Jungle Rumble and Sea Lanes since this area is proving popular with local people and I’d like to see that continue.

Unfortunately, it’s become a pinch-point and the only place to step aside for other pedestrians leaves you in the cycle lane incurring the wrath of cyclists who are using the correct space!

This area just doesn’t feel safe to me. Controversial though it may be, we need to continue the dialogue to make this area work and, above all, be a safe place for all users, especially as the city reopens.

Councillor Nancy Platts is the leader of the Labour opposition on Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Nathan Adler Reply

    Or perhaps you could do what your administration did during the first lockdown, just close it and shove the blue badge parking over a mile away, keep it closed and make them ask to use the changing places facility but make sure they don’t park there! Because you really had an open dialogue over that.

  2. Silas Reply

    Nancy – you and your Momentum chums have had nothing but a negative effect on Brighton.

  3. JT Reply

    I’ve raised that pinch point by sea lanes a number of times. It’s just dangerous given the cycle lane and the people queuing. The obvious thing seems to be to utilise the large area of poorly-used beach which has grown very very wide over the last 70-odd years, which is essentially what that whole area is already kind of doing, just not as much as it could.

    Move the railway round the back of Yellow Wave (opening up the area in front of the courts) and push the new sea lanes development back a bit further towards the sea, with the railway on the sea side of it. Then widen the pavement to a similar standard as the section west of Sea Lanes.

    Jungle Rumble and the children’s play area then becomes the only real obstacle to having a widened pavement all the way down to the Volks Workshops. The children’s play area would be easy enough to move a few metres seaward, the golf course somewhat less so given the raised section in the middle.

    Past the workshops, shift the railway a few metres seaward. It’s only where it is because when it was built it was on a trestle above the beach on the outside of the sea wall…which is now buried under several metres of shingle.

    That then gives a wide pavement/exhibition/stall space the full length of the seafront down to Black Rock, with plenty of room on the beach side for the planned broadwalk/nature reserve.

    • Jamie Greenwood Reply

      There is an 1888 caveat which limits construction on Madeira Drive beach – permenantly. Could get very expensive for council if someone decides to take them to court and enact it.

      • JT Reply

        Not saying that’s not the case, but then how does Yellow Wave, Sea Lanes, and Jungle Rumble exist? I am aware there used to be lawns and a bandstand there between the road and the Volks station (which would explain Jungle Rumble’s footprint), but Yellow Wave clearly extends beyond where they were, as does Sea Lanes’ plans…?

        Even just moving the railway to the sea-side of the developed area would solve a lot of problems, giving more open space in front of Yellow Wave and removing the ludicrous crossing through the middle of the Sea Lanes plans, which would then give the extra room needed for the widened path.

        …or might be worth just getting the covenant removed.

  4. Jamie Greenwood Reply

    You’re certainly enough to temper anyone’s joy Nancy!
    Remind us, why is the seafront so very unsafe again?
    Apart from the four accidents on Kingsway while they were making the new pop-up temporary cycle lane that few people want or use permenant but still under a temporary road traffic order with no Site Supervisor and no Health and Safety Assessment first.
    Don’t deny to citizens that none of our road ruination has anything to do with you and then admit that it has in your columns!
    We see you and we see through you.

  5. Andy Reply

    She’s only called the “opposition leader” so she can get the extra allowance.
    In truth, she opposes nothing , having entered into a coalition with The Greens that she and her colleagues tried to keep secret for the voters.
    And having let all this shit happen along Madeira Drive, it’s a bit late to be complaining. She’s as culpable as The Greens.
    Nancy, if you want to gain the trust of the electorate, start doing what your PAID to do and behave like an opposition leader.

  6. Pinkie Brown Reply

    Nancy I read you are stepping down to concentrate on your business, I hope you go sooner rather than later. You have done nothing for the city and it’s population during your time on BHCC. I wasted a vote voting for Labour (Momentum), never again, locally or nationally.

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