Council                                                           Agenda Item 39


Subject:                    Deputations from members of the public.



Date of meeting:    19 October 2023


A period of not more than fifteen minutes shall be allowed at each ordinary meeting of the Council for the hearing of deputations from members of the public. Each deputation may be heard for a maximum of five minutes following which one Member of the council, nominated by the mayor, may speak in response. It shall then be moved by the mayor and voted on without discussion that the spokesperson for the deputation be thanked for attending and its subject matter noted.


Notification of one Deputation has been received. The spokesperson is entitled to speak for 5 minutes.


(1)       Deputation concerning Protection of Pedestrians and homes at the junction of Upper Abbey Road, Whitehawk Hill and the hospital South Service Road


Supported by:


Peter Kutnick

Mary E Bennett & Jamie Bennett

Freya Harper & Peter Moore

Melanie Vevers

Marylis Redpath & Julian Redpath

Helen Lowe & Ken Lawrence

Zoe Watson & Bud Beale


Summary of deputation from residents of Upper Abbey Road


Aim of Deputation


Residents of Upper Abbey Road demand the reinstatement of barrier to protect pedestrians and homes at the junction of UAR, Whitehawk Hill Road and the hospital South Service Road.




• following several accidents in the late 1990s, when cars careered down Whitehawk Hill Road and crashed into homes on Upper Abbey Road, protective barriers were installed by the council to protect homes and pedestrians

• the area protected by the barriers is at a 3 way junction on a steep, busy hill with narrow roads which provide pedestrian and vehicle access to and from 2 special schools, a primary school, the RSCH, including the children’s hospital, and numerous homes, including sheltered housing,  in the immediate neighbourhood and the Bristol Estate

• the barriers remained in place from the late 1990s until the summer of 2023; they frequently served their protective purpose as shown by repeated damage, necessitating occasional repairs and replacement of panels


Summer 2023


• July - with no consultation and no warning notices posted, the barrier was removed to facilitate the installation of a dropped kerb at the precise spot which the barrier has protected for the past 25 years; this work was completed to facilitate the erection of hoardings for the next phase of demolition and construction work on the RSCH

• had they been consulted, residents would have explained the history of the installation of the protective barrier and the need for its immediate reinstatement to protect homes and pedestrians

• August 21st – early morning, residents awoken by the terrifying sound of an out of control car speeding down WHR and crashing into homes at the precise point previously protected by the barriers; the boundary wall destroyed and window sill of 33 UAR damaged, some lesser damage to 35 UAR, lamp post out of action: the car was stolen, driver fled the scene

• August 28th – car crashes into already damaged wall: on this occasion the driver was the car owner

• September – parked van rolls down WHR after handbrake failure, only a collision with a UAR resident’s car driving up the hill prevented the van descending further

• cars, vans and lorries routinely mount the kerb at the precise point previously protected by the barriers


Council response so far


• response from the council transport department contains factual inaccuracies and is incoherent


What next?


• Current situation leaves pedestrians in danger and residents, including very young children, feeling unsafe in and around their homes

• wall needs to be repaired, at cost of £4,000, but could be destroyed again if barrier not replaced

• we demand the immediate reinstatement of the barriers so they can continue to offer protection to residents and pedestrians as they have done for the past 25 years, the council and its councillors must do what is necessary to protect people and homes




Supporting information:


A comparison of a row of houses  Description automatically generated


A ladder next to a wall  Description automatically generated with medium confidence


Response from Transport Projects Team:

Thank you for your enquiry received via your ward councillor, I am sorry to hear of the incidents that have happened near/ to your property in Upper Abbey Road, Brighton.

Having had a look into this on site and from the various correspondence received from residents I would like to highlight that guard railings are installed for pedestrian safety only, these should not used for protecting the residents’ boundary wall from vehicles. I would imagine these were installed to prevent pedestrians crossing at this busy section near the hospital delivery entrance. Since these were implemented, the road has also been subject to a speed reduction from 30 to 20 MPH as part of the citywide speed reduction project. Moving traffic offences such as speeding are enforced by Sussex police and should be highlighted via the operation crackdown website via the following link Operation Crackdown

Having spoken to our Highway Operations team we are looking to remove any damaged guard railings across the city as generally they cause more issues than they solve and can impede pedestrians’ movements, especially those with limited mobility. These particular guard railings were removed as part of improvement works as they were damaged beyond repair and at such an angle, they also were the cause of obstruction to the pedestrian flow in the area.

The new dropped kerb has been installed to facilitate the improvements works as hoarding will be installed on the eastern footpath preventing pedestrians from crossing, warning signs have also been installed to highlight the crossing area to motorists. I will highlight issues raised with the appropriate team who are working alongside the hospital with the development works to see if they have any additional comments to add.

Currently, the council are not in a position to action additional remedial works until we've received information from the police report on the incident, from this we could make some minor adjustments based on their comments.

These could include the following:


• Additional signs and road markings.

• Changing the Give way to a Stop junction at the bottom of Whitehawk Hill Road

• Consideration marking Whitehawk Hill road eastbound.


I realise this isn’t the answer you seek after the recent events, but hope the information is of some help.


Councillor Muten, Chair of Transport & Sustainability will reply.