19 February 2021 Transport and roads

Next steps for Madeira Drive – a safe space for everyone

The next phase of work to make Madeira Drive a safe space for everyone is set to begin next week (22 February).

The iconic road was reopened to eastbound motor vehicles in October as part of two phases of work agreed by the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee (ETS) in September.

Now, following further consultation with key stakeholders, including local businesses and disability groups, work will begin to:
•    Create a protected two-way cycle lane on the south side of the carriageway
•    Remove the cycle lane on the pavement, creating additional space for pedestrians
•    Introduce crossing points at key points between the Palace Pier and Dukes Mound
•    Increase the number of Blue Badge bays from 14 to 27
•    Change the orientation of Pay & Display Parking Bays for easier use

The work is set to be completed in May, depending on weather conditions. 

We will be working closely with colleagues currently developing improvements to the Dukes Mound junction, and some parking suspensions and footway closures will be necessary. Every effort will be made to keep disruption to a minimum.

The changes are being made through an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order. This means we will have the flexibility to develop the scheme further if required.  Here, you can also provide comment and feedback on the changes.

Madeira Drive will continue to be available for organised events.

Background

In April 2020, Madeira Drive was temporarily closed to motor vehicles to allow people to exercise safely during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

In October 2020, it was reopened to eastbound motor vehicles following decisions made at September’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee.

These improvements are being delivered alongside a number of other Active Transport Improvement schemes though the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund, designed to support more walking and cycling.

‘A huge part of the city’s history’

Amy Heley, chair of the ETS committee said: “Madeira Drive is a huge part of the city’s history so I’m delighted it’s being transformed into a space that everyone can enjoy.

“It’s important that cyclists and pedestrians can travel along the road safely while those who still need to use a car can continue to do so. I’m especially pleased that we’ve been able to increase the number of Blue Badge bays.

“We are continuing to create an infrastructure for active, sustainable and accessible travel which is vital for reducing toxic emissions and improving air quality in the city.”

Councillor Gary Wilkinson, opposition lead for ETS said: “We really welcome the news that these works will soon be underway. We hope these changes will make Madeira Drive a safer space for pedestrians and cyclists.

"Residents have repeatedly raised the issue of safety on Madeira Drive and we must continue to keep all users as safe as possible during this transformation.

"With warmer, sunnier days approaching, it is understandable that people will want to get outside more often and be near the sea, and these changes should create more space for pedestrians to safely socially distance on busy days.

"It’s really important this historic Drive can be a safe and inclusive environment for all its users in the city, and this work is a positive step in that direction.”

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