SATURDAY, 18 APRIL 2020
At least in my part of the transport world, there is a solid consensus that in the light of the Coronavirus, we should be doing more to help people safely exercise and make essential local trips.
It was therefore great to see that Brighton & Hove City Council will be making Madeira Drive a place for walking and cycling by temporarily banning motor traffic from Monday between 8am and 8pm; there will be stewarded access for businesses from the east. The street is right along the seafront at beach level which makes it a great place for the scheme. Madeira Drive doesn’t go anywhere – the parallel A259 Marine Parade is for through traffic and so when the crisis is over, I really hope the city looks at repurposing more of the space on a permanent basis because at the moment, it’s mainly turned over to car and coach parking.
The change has come in no small part to the efforts of Mark Strong, the managing consultant of Transport Initiatives and long time resident of the city. Mark has been pushing for some safe space to enable people to exercise and his note setting out why and how local authorities can take action has been a fantastic resource for people to understand the subject – it has also now been published as a CIHT blog post.
When cities across the world are well ahead of the UK on this matter (as always seems to be the case) a story like this really is newsworthy and there’s a good write up by Carlton Reid in his piece for Forbes. Reid makes reference a “loosening” of the rules around traffic orders by the Department for Transport with reference to guidance published this week. While there is a positive that the DfT has provided guidance in the face of the crisis, the cynic in me sees it as the least that they could do. Why am I cynical?
The advice note makes reference to two pieces of legislation;