Brighton becomes first city in UK to close road for residents

Brighton & Hove has become the first city in the UK to close a main road to vehicles to allow more space for daily exercise during the virus crisis.

On Monday 20th April 2020, Madeira Drive, Brighton was temporarily closed to motor vehicles to widen the path for walkers, cyclists and joggers to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

City Councillor Anne Pissaridou said: “Practising social distancing is making us all aware of the importance of public spaces and 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.”

Cities have been encouraged to increase measures to open up more space to residents in response to reduced traffic on the roads because of Coronavirus restrictions.

Ms Pissaridou also added it would provide a traffic-free place for the many residents in that area who do not have access to a garden.

Brighton has joined cities around the world in this initiative, including Berlin where they have widened cycle paths and Vancouver, who have made some roads traffic-free.

The length of Madeira Drive, from the Palace Pier to Duke’s Mound will be stewarded from 8am until 8pm to ensure businesses have access to properties.

Signs installed by the council are encouraging residents to exercise close to home, maintain a safe distance between other pedestrians and only leave home for essential reasons (food, exercise, key worker roles).

Brighton & Hove City Council were able to use emergency powers to push this road closure forward, and they are looking at other locations to extend these measures to.

For more advice and Coronavirus updates, please visit the Brighton & Hove City Council website

NEWS – BN1 Magazine