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The future of Madeira Drive to be debated

The future of the world-famous Madeira Drive in Brighton is to be debated by the council this week

BRIGHTON’S world-famous Madeira Drive is to be debated this week as Brighton and Hove council debate the reopening or permanent closure of the iconic stretch of road.

The debate has come about after two petitions, one for the reopening and one against, gained the necessary 1,250 signatures needed to have the matter put before the council.

Cases for and against the reopening of the iconic route will be put before Brighton and Hove council on the 23rd July, with the event being live-streamed on the council’s website.

Madeira Drive was closed as COVID-19 tightened its grip on the UK, with the idea being that closing the route would allow the public to exercise and walk without breaching social distancing guidelines. Now that restrictions are beginning to ease though, some parts of the local council wish to see the route remaining closed to traffic for good.

The route is a massive draw for fans of two and four wheels, with events like the Brighton Speed Trials, the Brighton Burn Up, and the vintage and classic car runs all using the stretch of road – and drawing massive numbers of tourists to the city.

With a large Green Party presence in Brighton and Hove Council though, it was always likely that some would push to see the route closed on a more permanent basis.

The National Transport Trust is one of the main groups pushing for the road to reopen to the public, it said in a statement:

‘There is now a lobby to keep the road closed permanently and this has strong backing from the Green Party in the Council. This would mean the end of historic events such as the Brighton National Speed Trials and the Veteran Car run, plus many other car and motorbike events such as the Ace Cafe Incarnation, the Pioneer Run, the Mini Run, the London to Brighton Kit Car Run and the Ace Cafe Reunion Brighton Bash to name just a few. The shops and clubs on Madeira Drive are already suffering badly but, if the road is closed to traffic, then they will go bankrupt.’

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