‘Madeira Drive is ruined by Brighton Council’
FOLLOWING Donna Lee’s letter in The Argus, we don’t know why she should imagine that people can’t care about ALL elements of Madeira Drive and how they’re being ruined by Brighton and Hove City Council, which is increasingly being revealed to be green in name only. .
Not only did Ms Lee clearly miss the article in which the council admitted that the destruction of the green wall was deliberate because it was planning to create a cycle path in Duke’s Mound, but it also decimated the tamerisk trees further away – apparently because ‘they were “non-native” – not because they were not suited to the often harsh waterfront environment or because they did not support other plant species.
And the wildlife was also destroyed during the nesting season, which is a crime against the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. So much for environmentalism and biodiversity.
A local resident informed us that the only reason the roots were left was because someone pointed out that the root system underlies the slopes. Building Green apparently wasn’t even consulted until none of this was done, despite working closely with the council over the past decade.
For Ms. Lee’s information, as citizens who live in the city, we walk or cycle to Madeira Drive on a regular basis, and Ollie occasionally rides in his Vespa. We rarely, if ever, drive on Madeira Drive, assuming that driving is now some kind of a crime in this city.
We care passionately about the heritage of Madeira Drive, both architectural and environmental, and the events Madeira Drive hosts that bring the city millions of pounds each year and often fill the city’s hotels and guesthouses. when they do.
We also see vintage vehicles as a great tribute to environmentalism. Some are over a century old and have therefore outlived their carbon footprint, were built to be endlessly serviceable, have little or no modern comforts, and consume little energy compared to modern vehicles.
How many electric vehicles are so repairable and will stand the test of time, let alone look so good in visitors’ photographs?
Madeira Terraces is 124 years old and will therefore also be a beautiful testament to greenery and surviving the test of time when restored. We urge the council to make restoration a priority because for more than seven years terraces have been allowed to deteriorate even further while extensive pedestrian spaces have been closed and denied to locals and visitors.
There is nothing wrong with wanting the city to prosper and recognizing that it is a tourist destination which, as such, should be welcoming to visitors, including offering parking, especially since many Brits will be vacationing at home for the foreseeable future and the student market. is greatly reduced from what it was due to two years of interrupted study leading to alternative education choices. We also have a train system that hardly works on weekends and an irregular coach service.
Let us be realistic and ecological and call for the reversal of all the experimental traffic orders which in fact create traffic jams and pollution, without solving them.
We are no longer an industrial city and our bus network has become electric. Plus, many people now have hybrids and other electric or low-emission vehicles, so emissions naturally go down anyway. It is not for our council to cripple our city and our economy by making changes to our roads without our consultation and consent, and without any environmental impact assessment to back up their pollution claims.
Visit Madeira Drive now. It’s like a war zone, not something you would send on a tour bus to show visitors off. It needs urgent restoration to regain its former glory as a premier income generation area and spiritual home of mods and bikers.
Madeira Drive is a destination for everyone. We need it to be attractive again with our iconic restored Madeira terrace, our unique heritage waterfront lamps, parking for visitors (whose money was also supposed to go into the Madeira Terrace restoration fund, so it’s interesting that the council sought to close Madeira Drive just a few months after making that decision) and all freshly painted and welcoming. We need a city of which we are proud.
Laura King and Ollie Wilson
Save the Madeira Drive campaign