UWE Bristol to evaluate radical changes to Brighton's old town streets

Issue date: 14 March 2013

Brighton Pier

UWE Bristol's The Centre for Transport and Society has been appointed by Brighton and Hove Council to evaluate a radical change proposed to Brighton's historic Old Town.

Like many historic areas, the old town suffers from traffic on narrow streets. Plans to pedestrianise some streets and remove all through traffic from the area by Brighton and Hove Council are subject to a planning inquiry in July.

UWE Bristol will conduct a baseline evaluation over the summer, whatever the inquiry decides. The study aims to evaluate the effects on pedestrians, businesses and traffic patterns. It will be conducted by Senior Lecturer Dr Steve Melia and Researcher Ian Shergold.

Dr Steve Melia said, “Traffic is always a problem in historic streets. The aim of this project is to improve the pedestrian environment and hopefully boost footfall for the businesses located in those areas. The removal of parking and through traffic is always controversial: opinions amongst the businesses have been divided. It's interesting to note the similarities between these proposals and similar plans for the Old City in Bristol. We are planning to organise a seminar when we have some findings. This will give an opportunity for people in the two authorities, and any others facing similar challenges, to share experience.”

Professor Graham Parkhurst, Director of the Centre for Transport and Society, said, "There certainly seems to be a welcome resurgence in interest nationally in schemes to improve conditions for the pedestrian, including pedestrianisation, traffic access management, and 20 mph zones and we are very pleased to be working with Brighton and Hove in testing the case that pedestrianisation does indeed bring benefits”.

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