Brighton Council urged to give LGBT businesses a boost by pedestrianising St James’s Street

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Brighton and Hove City Council is being urged to pedestrianise St James’s Street, home to many of the city’s LGBT bars and shops.

Business owners have given their backing to a trial of barring traffic from the street, in order to give commerce a boost.

Sharon Barr, owner of The Zone Bar, an LGBT venue, told The Argus: “At the moment the street is such a mess with scaffolding all over the place, people having to walk into the road while buses and lorries fly past.

“It is a miracle no one has been killed.”

St James’s Street is currently only cordoned off to cars at certain times of the year, such as Brighton Pride.

Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown, Simon Kirby, is backing the scheme, which has the support of 70% of businesses in the area.

The MP said: “Whilst issues such as access for residents and the routing of bus services would need to be considered, I believe pedestrianisation could offer many benefits to residents, businesses and visitors alike.”

However, Brighton and Hove Bus Company has expressed reservations about the idea, warning it could impact on bus services in the area.

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “Lots of people depend on that street as a bus route so there are likely to be issues about where the buses would go.

“It would be important to hear from everyone, including the bus company and its passengers.

“So pedestrianisation there is not part of the local transport plans at present but we’re always open to views on the matter.”