16 October 2020 Transport and roads

Reopening Madeira Drive – a shared space for everyone

Work is underway to reopen Madeira Drive to one-way vehicle use next week, helping to create a shared space for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and Blue Badge holders in the city.

It was agreed at the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee last month that the historic road would be opened to eastbound vehicles, with entry from the Palace Pier roundabout, exiting at Duke’s Mound. 

By working quickly, we will be able to open the road to vehicles in time for half term.

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 with feedback from community groups, local businesses, the Covid-19 Action Group and seafront office and will come under an Experimental Traffic Order.  This means we will have the flexibility to develop the scheme further if required.

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. 

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