21 April 2016

More measures to keep ‘em coming to the beach

Measures will be put in place to ensure visitors can still flock to Brighton beach this summer during essential works to reinforce the seafront road.

Two temporary pedestrian crossings will operate across the A259 near the bottom of West Street.  One is already open outside the Brighton Centre.  A second will be opened at the beginning of June next to Middle Street, just east of the West Street junction.   Work on this starts today, Thursday April 21.

Both sets of lights will be synchronised to help keep traffic flowing.

To minimise disruption to Kings Road, the majority of the works will be carried out off-peak.  Occasional lane closures will be needed, off-peak wherever possible.  No closures will happen during the May Brighton Festival.

These crossings will be vital as the subway from West Street to the lower prom must shut at the end of May for four or five months.  This is unavoidable for safety reasons as the adjacent Shelter Hall which helps support the road will be demolished, starting in June. 

The building has become structurally unsound.  New supports for the road will be created and the building will be replicated in a position a few metres nearer to the sea.

In addition a temporary staircase will be built helping people down towards attractions and businesses on the lower prom.  More signs naming traders will urge visitors and locals to explore the beachfront, while the works are in place.

A planning application to re-site the Shelter Hall is expected in the next few weeks.

The £11m Shelter Hall project, designed to prevent the A259 from collapsing, is largely funded with a government transport grant.  It is one of an array of mainly externally-funded investments in the city’s seafront either planned or underway worth over a billion (a thousand million) pounds.   It is thought to be the biggest investment programme of any UK seafront.

Councillor in charge of transport Gill Mitchell said:  “We have no choice but to do this work otherwise the seafront road eventually collapses.  We have been meeting traders to make sure we know what they need to help minimise any disruption. It’s a two-year project so inevitably that includes some peak periods for visitors.  But by the end we’ll have a renewed, more popular place for our traders to operate and we ask everyone to bear with us.”

An online video explaining the Shelter Hall project is at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/shelterhall.