Concerns over the closure of Brighton’s Gardner Street

A DECISION on whether to close a busy shopping street to traffic seven days a week has been postponed after concerns were raised about access for people with disabilities.

But at Brighton and Hove City Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee meeting at Brighton City Hall, leader, Green Councilor Amy Heley, said the point had been withdrawn.

Any debate and decision has been postponed to the committee’s next meeting in November.

Papers presented to council members ahead of the meeting said 190 comments had been received on proposals to only allow pedestrians and cyclists to use the road. Of these, 115 supported the plan and 75 opposed it.

Gardner and Regent Streets

Gardner and Regent Streets

Two disability groups opposed the changes – Possability People and Brighton Access for Disabled Groups Everywhere (BADGE).

And Possability People chief officer Geraldine Des Moulins was set to explain to councilors why the proposal poses a safety risk that “disproportionately disadvantages disabled people”.

Last year, both groups met with City Council Adviser Mott MacDonald to share concerns about the “spreading” of cafe furniture and clothes rails into disabled parking spaces on Gardner Street.

They want disabled parking spaces to remain free for those who need them, while the council wants to move them to neighboring Regent Street and create seven spaces there.

After the meeting, Councilor Heley said: “Creating healthier, low-traffic and traffic-calmed communities was the overriding recommendation of the Brighton and Hove Town Hall.

“Given the positive impact this would have on our climate, air quality and the well-being of local residents, we are committed to delivering on this promise.

“However, we know that some residents with disabilities were concerned about the impact on accessibility.

“I have asked officials to review the report, which I now hope will be presented to the committee in November.”

Labor Councilor Gary Wilkinson said: “Many residents want to get this done – and November’s meeting seems to be quite busy. It made more sense to have it now than later.

“This is a sensitive issue for the administration. And they need more time to address disability access.”

Gardner Street is currently closed to traffic on weekends only for the same hours as proposed in the new traffic code from 11am to 7pm.

During the initial closure, the North Laine road was closed to traffic for the same hours seven days a week.

However, the closure was not made permanent after Mott MacDonald recommended the road be reopened to improve disabled access.

The next meeting of the Council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee is scheduled for Tuesday 15 November. Concerns over the closure of Brighton’s Gardner Street

Fry Electronics Team

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