Last September, Brighton & Hove City Council commissioned an independent body, IPSOS Mori to find out what the people of Brighton & Hove think should be done to reduce transport emissions. The Sortition Foundation, another independent body, put together a random sample of people to decide what should be done. Experts gave presentations on transport issues and assembly participants debated the issues and came up with recommendations.
The full report is available on the council’s website. The assembly came up with ten recommendations:
A car-free city centre
The public transport system should be affordable/accessible
Creation of healthier low traffic/pedestrianised communities
The council should actively consult and engage with the community
Introduce mobility hubs – a mobility hub is a recognisable place which provides and connects up different types of travel, like cycle hire, station, parking and transport information
Cyclists should be prioritised over cars through well-designed dedicated cycling networks that are safe and practical for day-to-day use as well as leisure
Introduce a park and ride to minimise car use in the city
Make public transport a more convenient alternative to driving a car
Messaging should focus on what people gain rather than lose and educate/expand citizens’ knowledge
There should be a focus on incentives rather than sanctions as interventions
Last year, the government pledged to massively increase walking and cycling rates across the country, and published guidance for cycling infrastructure, which it said must become mass transit. However, there was opposition from a vocal minority, including some councillors – partly because Covid-related walking and cycling measures were put through so quickly.
Statistics show that the majority of people in the UK support measures to reduce car use and make our streets safer for cycling and walking, so the Climate Assembly’s report is an important reminder that there is support locally, which should give our politicians greater confidence in supporting bold measures to make our city a better place to live.