Brighton & Hove City Council is closing a major road along the south coast resort's seafront to motor traffic from Monday 20 April to give locals more space to take their outdoor exercise during the coronavirus pandemic, including walking, running and cycling.
Madeira Drive will be closed to motor vehicles along its full length from the Palace Pier roundabout so that people can exercise while maintaining safe social distance, says the chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, Anne Pissaridou.
The council is also looking at other streets from which motor vehicles could be banned to allow people on foot or on bike to move around while respecting social distancing guidelines, says Brighton and Hove News.
Fantastic news 🙂@BrightonHoveCC is first UK council to restrict road access to make it safe for people walking & cycling during the #COVID19 emergency. From Monday #MadeiraDrive & #DukesMound will be closed between 8am-8pm. Thanks @BHCC_Transport! https://t.co/eThWSs4q0e pic.twitter.com/oAfcw8vj4u
— Mark Strong (@ibikebrighton) April 17, 2020
“Madeira Drive is a long, wide road right by the seafront and will create an extra safe open space for local people in the area to use for their daily walk or bike ride,” Councillor Pissaridou explained.
“It will provide a traffic-free place for the many residents in that area who do not have access to a garden.
“Practising social distancing is making us all aware of the importance of public spaces and making us rethink how we use them, but I would also ask that cyclists and pedestrians respect each other’s space and safety in this shared area. We’re all in this together.”
She added: “We are pleased to be able to offer this change so quickly and are considering other locations to see if we can extend this to other roads in the city.”
The council says that signs will be put up on Madeira Drive advising people to keep at a safe distance from each other, and that stewards will be positioned at the top of Duke’s Mound from 8am to 8pm each day to enable businesses to retain essential access to their properties.
As we reported earlier this week, Councillor Pissaridou was inspired to consider what measures could be implemented to reallocate roadspace in Brighton & Hove after reading an article in the Guardian written by road.cc contributor, Laura Laker about measures being implemented around the world.
This list, compiled by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center within the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, sets out details of actions being undertaking by cities around the world to promote cycling and walking during the pandemic.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.