Accident blackspot junction set to be closed to cars

Posted On 07 Dec 2022 at 3:31 pm


A junction on a city centre road could be closed to motorised traffic after being identified as a “high-risk location”.

Six accidents have happened at the corner of Blackman Street and Trafalgar Street in the North Laine in the last three years – mostly caused by cars coming out of Blackman Street and hitting cyclists and pedestrians.

Brighton and Hove City Council believes this is because of poor visibility at the junction and is proposing to close the junction to motorised traffic.

It is now asking businesses and residents for feedback on the plans before a formal traffic regulation order is advertised next month.

It is also proposing to extend the one-way section of Trafalgar Street westwards from Sydney Street to just east of Whitecross Street.

This will allow it to build out pavements at the Whitecross Street junction, with a no entry sign preventing cars turning left into Trafalgar Street from there.

Any motor vehicles wishing to access Sydney Street when it is open would need to travel via Pelham Street or York Place / St George’s Place

A council spokesman said: “The junction of Trafalgar Street and Blackman Street has been identified as a high-risk location and therefore a priority for safety work.

“We wrote to local businesses, residents and stakeholders last month to let them know of our plans.

“This was above and beyond our legal duties in terms of formal consultation about the changes.

“We wanted to give an opportunity for initial comments which we will consider before we take the proposals further.

“We expect to advertise a formal Traffic Regulation Order in January.

“This will give interested parties a formal opportunity to have their views taken into consideration.”

The money for the closure of the Blackman Street junction would come from the council budget for improving road safety at accident blackspots.

The changes to Trafalgar Street would be paid for from money paid by developers for road improvements through the planning process.

  1. Yibble Reply

    Yet another nail in the coffin of a viable Brighton and Hove. What were the circumstances of each collision? Alcohol on the part of the pedestrians or not looking up from theirs phone when they stepped into the rd I believe. Cyclists not having lights.

    • Max Reply

      This is a genuinely dangerous and potentially lethal intersection. I live nearby and on a daily basis wonder when someone will get mown down. Cars and trucks approach or leave the narrow junction at Blackman Street at speed, bikes fly down the hill, cars get backed up waiting to enter the car park making frustrated drivers mount the pavement or bypass the cars waiting to turn, vehicles cut the corners onto the pavement because there is not enough room to enter and exit the intersection in both directions – look at the state of the pavement and the bollards for evidence. Pedestrians cannot make eye contact with drivers because they are so focussed on other cars (they look in one direction as they pull out in another direction) as they navigate the utter chaos of this intersection. Vehicles are regularly on the wrong side of the road on both Blackman St and Trafalgar St. It is often impossible to predict where a car might be coming from, or if they even see you. Even the most careful driver might not see a pedestrian, and the most careful pedestrian might not see an oncoming car in the wrong place. Thank god the authorities are taking this one seriously before someone is killed, it’s only a matter of time.

    • Al Reply

      Pretty clear you haven’t read the article.

      As a cyclist, pedestrian or motorist, it’s a dangerous junction. A motorist is over halfway out before they can see up and down Trafalgar Street. The only slight upside is that accidents that do happen there are at relatively low-speed. But it is always best to avoid accidents in the first place, rather than pretend this will have a detrimental effect on the city.

      Or maybe you prefer avoidable accidents.

      So no, not a ‘nail in the coffin of Brighton & Hove’. It would be a nail in the coffin to keep it like it is.

  2. Nige Reply

    For once I actually agree with the council here. It’s a narrow junction where any traffic joining Trafalgat Street is unsighted as to what is coming down Trafalgar Street, hence the accidents. Also see motorists (particaularly van drivers) getting stuck here as they don’t realise what a tight turn it is. Far better to use the wider Whitecross Street junction which is only 20 meters away.

  3. Billy Short Reply

    This is a very odd story and I’m inclined to ask what is the real motive here?

    If they really wanted to improve road safety at this junction then there are many ways to do that, including speed bumps, or traffic lights, or the installation of a pedestrian crossing.
    And simply re-painting the faded ‘stop’ lines – the worn ones pictured here – might be the best solution. Why were the white lines left in that state if vehicles weren’t stopping?

    Closing off roads as a traffic flow or accident solution is a bit like telling someone who is overweight to tape up their mouth.

    The true reason they close off roads is to discourage traffic from the city centre area, and as part of their wish for Brighton to be ‘car-free’ one day.
    Unfortunately, the initial impact of any road closure is to displace traffic to neighbouring roads, lengthening journey times – which in turn increases pollution and the chances of another accident. Presumably in this case, the through traffic will now worsen on Whitecross street, as people try to access Trafalgar street from the A270.
    If there’s really a junction accident problem, then that too will shift elsewhere.
    When your grumpy teenager gets a pimple on his nose, the solution is not to decapitate him – however appealing that might seem at the time.

    The long term impact of these road closures is to make living here more stressful for those of us trying to work and trade in the city, or for those commuters trying to get home in time to put the kids to bed, or indeed for day trippers just trying to visit Brighton as a holiday resort.
    Journey times are made longer by these closures and pollution is increased, but with no gain for residents or the local economy.

    If you’re going to waste our money, then please build an electric cross-city tram route instead, or subsidise a limited stop cross city bus route.
    Or, ideally, invest in an underground rail-based transport system – like most proper cities have. Most of us just want to get to work, or to get home. We are not about to return to the horse and cart economy.
    Just because you can’t afford these solutions doesn’t mean instead you waste what money you have, to make our lives worse. There is no civid pride to be found in a city that no longer works.

    We do need a city-wide transport strategy, and that’s what is lacking here.

    • Nige Reply

      They are closing one dangerous junction to favor a better one all of 20 meters away. Hardly a conspiracy.

      • Billy Short Reply

        I agree with you that the road being closed is a narrow one where it meets Trafalgar street, and that poor sighting and a poor turning circle is/are part of the issue.

        And indeed Whitecross is the road I use on the rare occasions I need to travel through the city centre in my van – usually to access the North Laine houses I work on.
        However, under these plans. I see that the Whitecross junction will itself be narrowed. And so will Trafalgar street.
        The biggest change will be for the businesses on Blackman street and for those using that entrance to the car park there.

        I’ll stick with my original point, namely that random road closures are not part of any sensible city wide transport strategy, and that we should look at the bigger picture.
        The current council frequently use ‘road safety’ as an excuse to create more road closures, and that a has been one of the bogus arguments for removing the Palace Pier roundabout – and replacing it with a new road layout that is bound to increase accidents.

    • Al Reply

      This is such a poorly thought-out response, it’s hard to know where to start.

      Suffice to say it is factually wrong, and the supposed remedies for your conspiracies have no basis in reality.

      Best leave it there, and dismiss your post as a bit of a mess.

  4. Max Reply

    This is a genuinely dangerous and potentially lethal intersection. I live nearby and on a daily basis wonder when someone will get mown down. Cars and trucks approach or leave the narrow junction at Blackman Street at speed, bikes fly down the hill, cars get backed up waiting to enter the car park making frustrated drivers mount the pavement or bypass the cars waiting to turn, vehicles cut the corners onto the pavement because there is not enough room to enter and exit the intersection in both directions – look at the state of the pavement and the bollards for evidence. Pedestrians cannot make eye contact with drivers because they are so focussed on other cars (they look in one direction as they pull out in another direction) as they navigate the utter chaos of this intersection. Vehicles are regularly on the wrong side of the road on both Blackman St and Trafalgar St. It is often impossible to predict where a car might be coming from, or if they even see you. Even the most careful driver might not see a pedestrian, and the most careful pedestrian might not see an oncoming car in the wrong place. Thank god the authorities are taking this one seriously before someone is killed, it’s only a matter of time.

    • Paul Temple Reply

      Whilst this might be true, Mr Glaskin you would support ANY street closure to cars which negates your view slightly.

  5. Dave Reply

    So when any shop in Sydney street hs a delivery the council expect a HGV to drive down palham street. Actually LOL.

  6. Billy Short Reply

    I’ve probably written too much here already but since my earlier comments were being dismissed I thought I’d go take a fresh look at this junction – and I went there at rush hour yesterday.

    Firstly, the picture in this article is from google maps and is over a year old, and I can tell you that today there is very little left of the white stop lines at the end of Blackman street where it meets Trafalgar street. If this is a known ‘accident black spot’ then why were the white lines not kept visible?

    The council are correct when they say there is poor visibility at this junction but I’d say it’s because the pavements in Trafalgar street are particularly narrow, and there’s little chance of changing that without closing off this route. But note that this road is the B2119, and one of the last cross city access routes for vehicles heading east to west, and for city centre deliveries.

    The second issue is that Trafalgar street is pretty steep and it’s tempting on a bike to freewheel or to race at speed down the hill. You can imagine bad car drivers doing the same, after being stuck in the traffic log jam the council have already created around the station.

    Closing off Blackman street will not solve those issues. And the plans shown all mean the alternative junction at Whitecross street is itself to be narrowed, merely shifting the issues further down the hill and focussing through traffic at one junction instead of two. .

    I’ll stick to my original point, which is that what the council are really trying to do is the continuing pedestrianisation of the North Laine, with road safety now used as the latest excuse. For shoppers and residents that pedestrianisation may or may not be a welcome move, but it is madness in terms of any city wide transport strategy to be narrowing off A and B roads when no alternative routes or public transport are being provided.

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