12 September 2019 Transport and roads

Twenty steps we’re taking to reduce transport emissions and improve air quality

The 16 September marks the start of European Mobility Week, a week long campaign to promote sustainable, active travel and invite people to try alternatives to car use. 

Safe walking and cycling

We’ll be taking part in this year’s mobility week and the theme of Safe Walking and Cycling by encouraging residents to use sustainable, active travel to make their journeys around the city. The final day of the campaign is Car Free Day (22 September) and we encourage residents and visitors to the city to leave the car at home on this day and travel to the city using public transport, cycling or walking.

Working together to improve air quality

Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, Councillor Anne Pissaridou, said: “We know that transport emissions are the biggest contributor to air pollution in Brighton & Hove and we are taking a number of steps to reduce emissions, improve air quality and to help us meet our goal of becoming a zero carbon city by 2030.  

“The council cannot deliver significant change by itself and working with transport partners and stakeholders is vital to help tackle the issue of air pollution and deliver lower emission transport options, sooner.

“Residents can also help by making more journeys by bike, on foot or using public transport. Not only will this help improve air quality and protect our environment, it has been shown to boost physical and mental health and could save you money on travel.”

The time to act is now

The council has declared a climate emergency and has committed to becoming a zero carbon city by 2030. Investing in sustainable travel is critical to helping us achieve this. This Mobility Week, we’re highlighting some of the steps we’re taking to meet this goal. 

Our Top 20

  1. We’ve introduced an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) for buses covering Castle Street, North Street and parts of Western Road. The aim of the ULEZ is to improve air quality by reducing levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in areas of the city where it has remained above European and English legal limits
  2. We have secured significant levels of funding to retro-fit the city’s bus fleet with exhausts which provide substantially lower oxide of nitrogen emissions. New cleaner vehicles to be rolled out in the next year including hybrid and electric buses
  3. We’re investing in infrastructure. In September 2018 works started on Valley Gardens, a major transport project which will provide new direct cycle lanes and walking paths through the city centre, as well as a central park and more public space 
  4. We’re developing a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan to provide better connected cycling and walking routes across the city and to neighbouring areas
  5. We’re investing in Electric Vehicle infrastructure. This year we’re rolling out 200 electric vehicle charging points in residential areas and developing electric hubs with rapid charging facilities for taxis, making it easier to switch to electric
  6. We made health and wellbeing a key objective of our Local Transport Plan. In Autumn 2019 we’ll be consulting on the city’s next Local Sustainable Transport Plan, which will focus on reducing carbon emissions, health and wellbeing and improving quality of life
  7. Our bike share scheme is one of the most successful in the country and has been shortlisted for two National Transport Awards. This year we expanded it to the west of the city, adding an extra 120 bikes to the fleet
  8. We’ve added more anti-idling signs around the city at key junctions and taxi ranks to prevent idling and encourage engine switch off 
  9. We’re working with our partners Sustrans on the School Streets project, to raise awareness of air pollution outside schools caused by idling vehicles and to encourage behavioural change by children and their carers’ to make the journey school using sustainable travel
  10. We bid for Government funding where we can to support sustainable travel initiatives. We’ve just won more grant funding for Bikeability, which helps us deliver cycle training to 4 to 14 year old children in the city
  11. Through our Access Fund, we have partnered with Love to Ride for Cycle September, a workplace challenge to get more people cycling to work. Over 90 city workplaces have signed up for the challenge in September 2019
  12. Through our electric bike project, we’re working with local workplaces to encourage staff take up of electric bikes, which can help overcome barriers to cycling and encourage more people to use sustainable transport for commuting
  13. Our volunteer-led Healthwalks are open to everyone and offer the chance to explore the city and its surrounding areas on foot  
  14. In partnership with Sustrans, we work on the national 'Bike It' scheme which aims to get more young people cycling to school and for other journeys
  15. We’ve published an updated Cycle Map with wayfinding which can be used to help cyclists in Brighton & Hove choose routes which suit how they like to ride
  16. Our Meerkat Walking Trail offers an exciting way for young children and their families to get active and have fun. Our third Meerkat Trail will take place in central Brighton from 1 October  
  17. We encourage the city’s nurseries to take part in ModeShift STARS and we work with them to get more young children and their families taking sustainable, active travel to nursery by walking, cycling or scooting
  18. Through our City Cycling Skills work we offer bike maintenance and training sessions for residents. Residents can book their spot online and find a session that suits them, whether beginner or advanced 
  19. We’ve introduced a successful Wayfinding programme and have put up signage around the city for general walking directions and between interchange points, offering greater options to travel around the city. It’s one of the reasons we were shortlisted for this year’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Award 
  20. Our Air Quality Programme Board brings together officers from Transport and Public Health to ensure a joined up approach to sustainable, active travel initiatives