Thursday 15 March 2012

Valley Gardens consultation.

Over the years Councils of various shades have promised to "do something" about the Valley Gardens. A commitment to action also featured in the Green Party's manifesto before the last elections. Now a relevant consultation document has been posted on the Council's website. This invites you to record your opinions on the present state of the Gardens and your ideas for their improvement.
To take part go to:- Consultation Portal - Valley Gardens.

Here are a few ideas for improvement you might think worth mentioning:-

Old Steine:-

  •  Dig up the roadway on the south east corner and return it to garden. This was nibbled from the gardens over 100 years ago for the trams, it is now very underused. 
  • Close the St. James St./Castle Sq. traffic crossover (see below) and join the two sections of the Steine up. This will mean that all traffic has to go round the south, or north end of the Steine. So what?
  • Dig up the unused roadway along the west side of the north section and return it to plantings. This area was pinched from the Steine comparatively recently for the bus lanes but has now become redundant.
  • Provide a pedestrian crossing point from the north end of the Steine gardens to the pavement in front of the Royal Pavilion.
Note. All the locations mentioned are pin-pointed in the above aerial view of the Steine. Click on the picture to see full-size image. 
St. James's St./Castle Sq. crossover
Western side of Old Steine north

Victoria Gardens:-

Victoria Gardesn southern section
  • In the large southern section put in diagonal paths, where people walk, (see above) and compensate for the loss of grass by reducing the width of the pavements around the edges. These pavements seem to be very rarely used.
  • In the northern narrow section (see below) increase its width by removing much of the perimeter paving, particularly on the west side. It is shabby, unnecessarily wide and seldom used. Provide a path down the centre of the garden so that pedestrians can enjoy their walk at maximum remove from the traffic.

West side of Victoria gardens north.

Victoria Gardens north


  1. I don't like island sites one bit. The whole area from the seafront up to London Road should have the western-most roadway removed with a massive park created out of this N/S strip of island gardens and St. Peter's Church. No more islands. Maybe a long meandering pedestrian walkway through it all and a bicycle path.

    We have to reconfigure Brighton so traffic circulates instead of relentlessly travelling north south down London Road to the sea.

  2. Excellent idea. We need to get get these ideas across in large numbers.

  3. The entire Old Seine is a disaster zone. With huge amounts of traffic in the spaghetti like roads streaming through this area - it really couldn't be any worse.

    To really create something here that could be 'enjoyed', like a park, would really be a great feat ... it's not much fun to sit and have a picnic in a small bit of green with 6 lanes of traffice aside you ... not to mention the pollution which is very high here.

    If traffic flowed only on the East side of all the parks, then maybe you could join the parks to Brighton on the West side. Other than that I can't see it being anythig other than a right-off in terms of the pedestrian experience ... especially at the southern end where it is very narrow.

    Brighton in any case is criss-crossed by major arteries, Kingsway, Western Road, Davigdor, Old Shoreham road ... and the entire seafront is cutoff from the city by a big nasty road.

    A major rethink could be had ... but I think instead this will continue, Brighton being a sacrifical lamb of southcoast resorts - this will be the place for all the day trippers, stag doos, ugly buildings, massive traffic, and other crazy stuff.

    1. Brighton Road User22 March 2012 at 21:07

      When I was a child, I was tought a very useful skill, which I retain to this day, which was how to safely cross a road.

      I am very grateful to my parents, for I am still able to find safe places to cross, and I know how to use the bounteous crossing facilities provided in our town, and I never find myself cut off from the other side of any road I need to cross.

  4. I agree on the comment of the island effect....a great example of the marriage of green spaces and in particular the seafront is Bournemouth, with a seamless access through the shopping areas, to green spaces to the seafront.

  5. I think there has long been simmering discontent with the battered, besieged nature of the Valley Gardens. At least the Council consultation, see link above, provides an opportunity for people to make their feelings known. The problems of change are large but a sufficiently big response to the consultation should eliminate the possibility of nothing happening at all.

  6. I have a recurring dream where the Kingsway is sunk down 10m into an underground tunnel and above the Hove Lawns are restored stretching from the city to the sea.

  7. i am not sure how the south east corner is underused. thre are always buses there or using it to service the bus stop in the far corner.

    the redundant roadway was left for cyclists to use, but could obviously be narrowed

    if you close the link road, how are buses going to turn right or get the granny population to morrisons?

  8. if the link road was closed the simple solution would be for southbound buses to go around the bottom of the Steine and northbound to turn at the end of Church Street. More sophisticated rearrangements might be possible though.


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