As Brighton’s Green council spends thousands of pounds on traffic signs, widening cycle lanes, imposing 20mph across the city and generally trying to force the car out of town, the seafront is falling apart.
A huge section of seating on the elevated walkway above Madeira Drive – from the Madeira lift to Duke’s Mound – has been fenced off because the wall is crumbling.
OK, it’s suffered years of neglect – not just by Green councils – and the area, inhabited by drunks (it’s actually illegal to drink on the streets in Brighton), a few dog walkers and the odd resident (!), is mainly out of sight.
But, come the first Sunday in November, thousands of people will be here for the Veteran Car Run. What a great advert for vibrant Brighton!
Ironically, the “Old Crocks” Run celebrates the emancipation of the motorcar in 1896 when a new law raised the speed limit to 14mph and repealed the 1878 Locomotive Act that required an escort to walk in front of vehicles with a red flag. Oh, wouldn’t the Green council love to see that again!
And the walkway? Is this just another sign, along with £3-an-hour parking charges driving visitors away from the front, that the Greens don’t care about the crumbling heritage of Britain’s most famous seaside town?
Peter Greenhalgh 2013