Brighton’s Valley Gardens project has excited the city’s citizens. The plans are set to bring about extensive changes to the city centre, tweaking aspects which have long needed reviewing. One such thing is the Aquarium roundabout, next to the sealife centre on the seafront.
A large part of the discussion for the third phase of the £10 million Valley Gardens project centred on a series of potential amendments for the roundabout.
The junction is an important, yet complex one, bringing together the A23 and A259. It is the most dangerous spot for commuters in the city, as Oliver Spratley, a transport planner, states: “We are fully aware of the accident rate being the highest in the city.”
The options discussed all come with pros and cons, and would each radically shift the landscape of the area:
- To retain the roundabout in its current form
- Replacing the roundabout with a simple traffic light system
- A hybrid of traffic lights and the roundabout
Councillor Pete West spoke strongly of the need to consider cyclists, who are currently put at risk: “…at the moment you’re taking your life into your hands negotiating the roundabout”.
He believes that a more unorthodox approach would yield better results: “I hope for a hybrid and unconventional response.”
However, not all are in agreement over the need for radical changes. Rottingdean councillor Joe Miller is anxious of straying too far: “I am sceptical of some of the hybrid elements. The junction is similar to Rottingdean High Street and we know the issues there.
Councillor Lee Wares spoke of fears of dramatically moving away from the areas traditional look: “Being a Brighton native, I’m attached to certain things like lampposts and railings. I’m looking to see those elements retained.”
The council are looking to hold a public consultation in relation to the three possible designs. This will be in October. For now, a public survey relating to the proposals can be found on the council’s website.