Supporting the return of the city's retail sector

Work is underway to support the city’s residents and businesses for the reopening of retail shops on Monday 15 June.

As more government restrictions are lifted, we’re introducing a number of changes to the city’s public spaces and transport network which we hope will mean shops can reopen safely, stay open and flourish in a Covid-19 secure environment.

They will also help our residents and visitors to move safely around the city and encourage them to maintain physical distancing.

The measures include the widening of footways, new cycle lanes, banners and signage and engagement with local businesses about signs and outside seating.

Creating more space for people to visit shops, particularly in narrower parts of the city like Old Town and The Lanes, is important to keep people safe and support businesses in those areas to reopen safely.

We have also produced advice for retail businesses around what they need to consider to protect staff and public safety and minimise the spread of Covid-19. This includes a number of simple poster options to download to help manage physical distancing.

Moving around the city

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen significant changes in how people are moving around the city, with more choosing to cycle or walk short distances and fewer cars on the roads due, in part, to an increase in home working. 

We’ve already closed Madeira Drive to motor vehicles and introduced a temporary cycle lane on the A270 Old Shoreham Road, both of which have been well received by the majority of residents and will continue to be monitored as government restrictions change.

While the number of people using public transport is restricted to maintain physical distancing, we will continue to work with bus and train operators to support those who need to use public transport to do so safely.

What we are doing

Footway widening

Widening footways using temporary barriers and kerbs:

  • Western Road, near Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.
  • Church Road / Tisbury Road
  • Outside St Andrews Church
  • St James’s Street, near Morrisons
  • London Road, near Aldi
  • Old Town

To create these wider pedestrian areas, we will need to suspend or relocate some parking, loading, disabled and electric vehicle charging bays, and relocate bus stops and refuse storage areas.

Temporary cycle lanes

  • We’re installing flexible plastic wands on the A270 Old Shoreham Road to ensure that there is a physical barrier between cyclists and other traffic.
  • Relocating road space to create a two-way cycle lane on the A23 south of Preston Park to Argyle Road. This is in addition to pavement widening further south on London Road.

Banners and signage

New signs, banners and floor markings reminding people to physically distance (‘Give Space Keep Safe’) are being installed in key locations across the city. Enhanced signage will be used at narrow passageways and twittens.

Floor stickers have also been placed along parts of the seafront, including Undercliff, to remind cyclists to take care when using spaces shared with pedestrians.

Adapting quickly to a Covid-19 environment

Chair of the council’s Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, Councillor Anne Pissaridou, said: “We are moving quickly to adapt to an environment where we now live alongside Covid-19.

“The pandemic has had a huge impact on our economy and we want to do everything we can to support businesses who want to reopen their doors to customers for the first time in almost three months.

“By doing so safely, we hope those businesses can remain open and thrive in Covid-19 secure city.

“I would ask everyone to please be considerate and respect each other as you travel and shop around Brighton & Hove. Be very mindful of people with mobility issues, learning disabilities or visual or hearing impairments. Some people will find it harder to manage physical distancing and many disabilities are hidden.

“Only by working together can be make the city safer.”

Further transport measures will be considered at the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee when it meets on Tuesday 23 June.

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