21 September 2020 Transport and roads

Councillors to consider reopening Madeira Drive for one-way vehicle use

A proposal to reopen Madeira Drive to one-way traffic, with a two-way protected cycle lane, more space for pedestrians and an increase in parking bays for blue badge holders will be considered by councillors next week.

Members of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability (ETS) Committee will discuss the recommendation on Tuesday 29 September, as part of an update on the city’s Covid-19 Urgent Response Transport Action Plan.

The new design has been produced working with stakeholders and informed by feedback we’ve received from disability groups.

If approved Madeira Drive would:
•    Allow one-way access eastbound from the Palace Pier roundabout to Duke’s Mound
•    Provide a two-way protected cycle lane on the carriageway by removing parking on the south side of the road
•    Relocate the existing cycle lane, allowing for a wider promenade for pedestrians
•    Provide 13 additional parking bays for Blue Badge holders, ensuring there are twice as many bays as previously available

Madeira Drive was closed to motor vehicles in April to give residents more space to exercise in the early stages of the Covid-19 lockdown.

In June, councillors agreed the closure should remain in place.

Chair of the ETS Committee Amy Heley said: “The nature of these urgent changes allows us to be flexible.  

“We’ve listened to residents and businesses and this option means we can still offer protected cycle routes, safe space for pedestrians and vehicle access for those who still need it.

“Madeira Drive is an iconic part of the city and we want everyone to be able to enjoy it safely.”

Changes to the way we travel around the city

Councillors will also be asked to consider our travel habits since the introduction of emergency transport changes. 

Old Shoreham Road temporary cycle lane

•    61% increase in cyclists using Old Shoreham Road cycle lanes compared to 2016
•    An average of 545 cyclists using Old Shoreham Road cycle lanes per day

A259 temporary cycle lane

•    A one-week average comparison shows a 21% increase in cyclists in September 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

More information can be found in the report. 

Councillor Heley added: “We’ve seen significant changes to the way people are travelling around Brighton & Hove, even as we’ve come out of lockdown. More of us are walking and cycling, there are fewer cars on our roads and there are still a lot of people working from home. 

“In a short time, we’ve also seen the School Streets project supporting children back into the classroom, encouraging them and their parents and carers to walk, cycle or scoot to school.

“Covid-19 has not gone away and we’re seeing a rise in cases across the country.

“Active travel remains vitally important for helping people to move around our city safely and to support our economic recovery through this ongoing pandemic.”

The full agenda for the ETS committee meeting can be found on our website. 

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