An Independent View: Valley Gardens - let's get it right

If there is one project that simply must go ahead, it is the Valley Gardens scheme.

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 07.48.45If there is one project in Brighton and Hove that simply must go ahead, it is the Valley Gardens scheme.We make no apology for devoting four pages in this week's edition to such important proposals. A decision about their funding is expected next month.

We have print an edited version of what council officers have to say in answer to important questions about the current proposals. If funding is approved by Coast to Capital, the local enterprise partnership on February 18, work will begin as early as September.

It will be a long, hard road to a happier Valley Gardens. And significant disruption is inevitable. But with a price tag of more than £10 million, we have to get it right.

Almost all the proposals are to be welcomed. But Brighton and Hove Independent has some important reservations.

As we have highlighted in the past, we do not think it is wise to restrict most traffic to only a single lane - mostly - north and south on the east side of Valley Gardens.Two lanes each way must surely be more sensible Neither do we think it helpful even to consider allowing "recreational" cyclists to use the proposed pathways through the gardens. Cyclists have four other lanes devoted only to them; and pedestrians - especially those with young children - deserve their own green space

to walk in.

Some traders - particularly those most closely involved - are worried about the junction at the bottom of London Road, about the number and frequency of buses travelling up the west side of Valley Gardens, and about the impact of chronic disruption and consequent congestion. We have to get Valley Gardens right. And we have to trust those tasked to see the project through. Most of all, though, we have to be kept informed about what is planned, when, and why.