Brighton and Hove’s parking and traffic problems could be a thing of the past under radical new council proposals. Travel Nation can exclusively reveal that plans are in place to trial the removal of ALL vehicles from the streets – turning the city into a pedestrian paradise.
The list of streets to be closed under the proposed scheme has not yet been released, however we have recently gained access to a leaked document. The map below clearly highlights a proposed traffic-free area blanketing the city from The Drive in the west, to Grand Parade in the east.
With no route to enter the city by car, drivers will be asked to leave their vehicles at one of 3 new park and ride spaces on the edge of the city; the largest of which will be an 8000-capacity underground car park built just off the A23 at Patcham. The Waterhall site has long been discussed as a potential solution to Brighton’s parking problems and councillors finally seem ready to give the green light. A park and ride bus service or new monorail will transport people in and out of the city 24 hours a day.
The plans have emerged after fresh calls to address parking issues before the city sees an influx of visitors when the i360 opens this summer. A quarter of a million visitors are expected in the first three months of the i360’s opening, with up to 800,000 visitors expected a year.
Freed from traffic congestion and parking concerns, the city council believes that Brighton and Hove has the chance to become a blueprint for cities of the future.
With all of the city’s car parks effectively becoming redundant, significant blocks of centrally-located property will be freed up to allow much needed regeneration. Developers are already envisaging a new development of 250 residential apartments being built in the footprint of the Churchill Square multi-storey car park, whilst London Road car park is earmarked as the UK’s first graffiti artist training centre.
Brighton and Hove has a long history as a free-thinking hotspot. According to a recent think-tank, more pedestrianised streets will offer local businesses a huge opportunity to expand how they attract customers. Creative street advertising and performance will be encouraged.
Aside from solving parking problems and traffic congestion, the plans will have a positive impact on residents’ health and well-being. A “Boris bike” style scheme will be in place for those who wish to pedal into the city, with decision makers encouraged by the recent opening of London’s cycling super-highway.
A councillor, who wishes to remain anonymous, told us, “We hope that the removal of motor vehicles from the streets will encourage all ages to take up cycling as their primary mode of transport in Brighton and Hove. The creation of a 27 mile cycle network will bring Brighton and Hove in-line with the finest European cities. A safe cycling environment is not only eco-friendly but key to our future.”
Sussex conservationist Terry Nutterkins hopes to see a gradual increase in native wildlife roaming the city’s streets,
The radical scheme has already proved emotive amongst Brighton and Hove residents, with critics highlighting what they believe to be an unfair system.
Some see the potential, but need reassurances before giving their full support.
For others, the new scheme will make no difference to their daily life.