Friday, 24 July 2015

Valley Gardens vacillations


It seems as if the new Council, desperate to meet pre-election promises to revisit the Valley Gardens plans,  have lit on the lack of information on weekend/holiday traffic. This has given them the excuse to put the project on hold while they commission a report. But it is difficult to see exactly what information could turn up that we don't already have. This was probably the line taken by the original planners. It is a matter of simple observation that on many weekends or bank holidays the route is at saturation level with traffic queuing all the way back to Patcham and beyond.

The bulk of holiday/weekend traffic can only get into Brighton one vehicle at a time because of the deliberately introduced “throttle” at Carden Avenue. It is then single lane all the way to Stanford Avenue. It is evident that capacity is limited by factors outside the Valley Gardens area and at peak times it is unavoidable that traffic will be queuing, sometimes north beyond Patcham roundabout.

Valley Gardens is about 0.5 miles long. From Old Steine to Patcham is about 3.5 miles. The effect of reducing the traffic to a single lane along the east side of Valley Gardens, will be to add a maximum 0.5 miles to the north end of any queue. On peak traffic days,  when the traffic is queueing to Patcham, it lengthens the queue by just 14% but the exhaust pollution along the Valley Gardens is halved and the vehicles displaced to the end of the queue are exhausting fumes into much more open, less inhabited, surroundings than exist along Grand Parade and Richmond Place.

It is difficult to see that extra traffic reports can produce substantially different conclusions. What the Council must be hoping is that a possibility for some minor tweak is discovered, so allowing them to save face and proceed with
a scheme that basically seems the best that can be achieved under the circumstances.

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