Thanks to forethought and consultation on the part of Southern Water a major retail disaster has been averted. A programme of water pipe replacement in North Street has been postponed till after Christmas.
At consultation meetings held over the last month the Business Forum and North Laine Traders Association have renegotiated the original plans to start work on North Street at the end of September. Work will now commence in the New Year and there will be no need for a complete road closure as traffic flow in one direction only will be possible.
It has not yet been decided whether the other lane of traffic will be diverted or whether a traffic light system will be used to enable staggered flow.
The change of plan may have implications for the pedestrianisation project currently underway in New Road but all the major stakeholders attending the meeting agreed that it was a top priority to keep North Street open for business in the run up to Christmas.
Christmas is always a key selling period for retailers but this year it is even more so. The traders in North Street, the North Laine and the Lanes (all of whom would have been affected by road closures) have agreed to spend £300,000 (raised through a BID or Business Improvement District) on a truly spectacular Christmas lights display over the next five years. Nothing must be allowed to hold back the flow of Christmas visitors to the city this winter.
The works in North Street are expected to last up to 44 weeks which means that hopefully they should be finished before Christmas 2007.
Read related items on:
Brighton & Hove Business Forum
North Laine Traders Association