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News - 16 July 2003
Road works take their toll in the city centre

Roadwork Rage in Brighton

Businesses are up in arms about the dizzying delays caused for traffic trying to access the city through a maze of road-works that they claim, are wrecking summer trade.

Major works on the A259 between The Brighton Pier and West Street have crippled access via the seafront to the extent that on one Saturday Churchill Square had to let cars exit from the entrance of their Churchill 1 car park to try to alleviate congestion.

Meanwhile works at the junction of Preston Drove and London Road caused three mile tailbacks to Pycombe on Saturday. The work is predicted to last 16 weeks which comfortably covers the entire summer trading period in a year that is already tough because of falling consumer confidence and a weak economy (see Knowledgebase for story on “Economy in Worst State For a Decade” posted 13th July).

The combination of the reducing traffic flow at two major points of access to the city centre means that shoppers and visitors are deserting the town in droves when it should be the second busiest time of the year for the former and the busiest for the latter.

Retailers in particular are in no mood to accept the local authorities protestations that the work has to be completed at this time of year because the materials used require warm, dry weather. Or that such conditions will accelerate the rate of progress of the works. Many have already written off the summer season and are pinning their hopes on Christmas but traders on the seafront only have a summer season.

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