Read or download the new transport plan
Brighton & Hove is a wonderful city and a place I’m proud to call my home. A vibrant, diverse and welcoming place, loved by residents and visitors, where businesses large and small can thrive in a growing economy now beginning to recover from a global pandemic.
This document is setting out a vision for how we travel around this amazing city, connecting people with their communities, local businesses and each other in a way which is accessible, healthy and sustainable for all.
How we travel is changing. We saw during lockdowns that more journeys can be made actively and sustainably and we were given government funding to support this shift to walking and cycling. When our ability to go out whenever we wanted was taken away, we began to appreciate those opportunities to exercise and enjoy our local surroundings even more. Many of us worked from home for long periods and we began to see the potential of remote working going forward.
But our biggest challenge is still ahead of us. We’re facing a climate emergency and need to act now to create a liveable city which can be carbon neutral by 2030. We also need to improve air quality for our health and wellbeing, as well as the environment, especially around our local neighbourhoods and schools. Residents taking part in the city’s first Climate Assembly strongly supported taking action on how we travel.
Our fifth Local Transport Plan will be based on key principles that will build on the work that we’ve already done. We want to reduce the need for people to travel, change how they travel and create more transport that is low or zero emission and powered by renewable energy.
We need to provide people with the support they need to change their travel habits. Only by having an infrastructure which supports active and inclusive travel will we encourage and enable people to walk and cycle more or to use our excellent public transport network of buses, trains and taxis.
By supporting more people to leave their cars at home, we free up space for those who do need them, such as Blue Badge holders, tradespeople and those who deliver goods to our shops and retailers.
We’re already seeing examples of where innovation, technology and transport combine with great success. Our BTN BikeShare scheme means you can hire a bike at the touch of a button; we have a growing electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure to support the increasing number of EVs; eCargo bikes are making deliveries across the city and bus timetable information and tickets are available quickly and easily on our smartphones.
Through innovation and investment, by working with our partners and stakeholders and through consultation, conversation and engagement with our residents and businesses, we’re determined to set new standards for travel and transport in our city to improve everyone’s health and quality of life.
Councillor Amy Heley
Chair, Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee
Brighton & Hove City Council
Transport and travel play a vital role in improving our quality of life; connecting us from A to B within Brighton & Hove and beyond, whether it be for education or jobs, for leisure or health, or simply to be with each other.
We want Brighton & Hove to continue to be a welcoming place to visit, live and work, and to provide safe, secure and accessible neighbourhoods with a transport network that works for everyone.
As it grows, we need to create a more liveable city in which residents feel healthier, safer, more socially connected and included. Environmental sustainability and quality of life will be at the forefront of what we do as we reduce emissions and move towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030. A liveable city will also support our worldwide attraction to visitors.
To do this, we are developing our fifth Local Transport Plan (LTP5) for Brighton & Hove. The plan will set our vision and priorities for transport and travel across the city to 2030 and what we need to do to deliver them. LTP5 will support other plans and strategies such as those relating to air quality, accessibility, the economy and health, and our City Plan, which guides future development.
Our 2030 transport vision for LTP5 is:
Better connected residents, businesses and visitors, for an improved quality of life in a healthy, inclusive and carbon neutral city
The city, along with the country and rest of the world, is in a very different place to where it was in early 2020. Covid-19 has brought many challenges and uncertainties, impacting on all of us in how we go about our daily lives. The rounds of lockdown and adjustments to how many of us work, shop or exercise means that we’re seeing significant changes to our travel patterns.
Brighton & Hove City Council declared a climate and biodiversity emergency in December 2018 and has committed to becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030. This is an ambitious target and will need everyone’s support and participation. Transport contributes to a third of the city’s carbon emissions so changing the way we travel will be a key area in helping us reach our carbon neutral target.
Together, the climate crisis and Covid-19 have given us the opportunity to create a lasting legacy: to reconsider how we travel and to plan for a liveable city that is fairer, inclusive, and even more vibrant.
We would like to share with you our direction of travel for LTP5, highlighting our key principles, priorities and the range of projects that we are already delivering or exploring.
Brighton & Hove today
Brighton & Hove is one of the UK’s most attractive and unique cities to live in and visit, welcoming over 12 million visitors every year. The population of the city is around 290,000 and is continuing to grow. The city is home to nearly 33,000 full time students over the age of 16, meaning we have a higher share of younger people in the city than across England as a whole.
Our proximity to London and towns to the east and west results in thousands commuting in and out of the city each day. However, we expect to see increasing numbers of people to continue working from home, even after the pandemic
Our vibrant city thrives on innovation, collaboration and creativity, and is one of the most diverse in the country. However, this diversity includes large variations in levels of education, health, income and unemployment.
Social and Economic
- One in five people (19.5%) are from ethnic minority backgrounds
- 18.7% of older people have low incomes
- People on low incomes are more likely to be from ethnic minority backgrounds
- 51,000 (22%) of adults in the city have two or more long term health conditions
- Around 1 in 6 adults and a third of young people (aged 5 to 16) are physically inactive (less than 30 minutes physical activity per day)
- 19,000 (8%) of adults in the city have mental and physical disabilities
- 50,000 Brighton & Hove residents live in one of the most deprived 20% of areas in England
- There is a strong link between deprivation and disability in the city
- In deprived areas of the city, older people accumulate long term health conditions up to 15 years earlier
Please note, all data are pre Covid-19.
Transport and Travel
- 37,000 workers commute out of the city on a typical day
- 32,000 people commute into the city on a typical day
- More than half of residents commute to work by foot, cycle or public transport
- Two in five residents drive cars to work
- More than half of children walk, scoot or cycle to primary and secondary schools
- Over a third of households in the city don’t own a car (or have one available)
- 46 million bus journeys a year in the city
- 6,900 disabled concessionary bus pass holders in the city
- 13,500 blue badge holders in the city
- 24 million entries and exits a year at the city’s eight stations
- 40km of designated (permanent) cycle routes including the National Cycle Network
- 52% of visitors to the city arrive by public transport and 42% by private vehicles
Please note, all data are pre Covid-19.
In many areas of the city, high levels of car use for short journeys – even for those of less than two miles – are contributing to problems including slow and unreliable journeys (by bus, taxi and car), and local air and noise pollution, which impacts on our health and wellbeing. Meanwhile, not enough residents are reaching recommended levels of physical activity, which can include walking and cycling.
Poor air quality is linked to heart disease, respiratory diseases (such as asthma) and some cancers. There has been an overall improvement in air quality across the city in recent years, however, monitoring shows that nitrogen dioxide continues to exceed legal limits in six areas, where Air Quality Management Areas are in place.
- 23,300 more people living in the city by 2030 (an 8% increase compared with 2017)
- Around a third more people aged 60 or more by 2030 (compared to 2017)
- Around 1 in 3 children are currently driven to their primary school in the city
- Airborne pollution is a strong contributor to the 170 early deaths each year in Brighton & Hove
- Bus journey times are increasing due to congestion, resulting in unreliable journey times and increasing bus operating costs, which impact on fares
- House prices in the city are high meaning that many people are moving to nearby towns, putting additional pressure on the transport network
- Around 3 people a year are killed on the city’s roads
- Around 158 people a year are seriously injured on the city’s roads
- More than half of the people killed or seriously injured on the city’s roads are pedestrians or pedal cyclists
- One in five people killed or seriously injured on the city’s roads are motorcyclists
- Around 1,500 reported cycle thefts a year
Please note, all data are pre Covid-19.
A more inclusive city
Many residents currently face barriers to accessing education, health and employment. We have the opportunity to create an inclusive, liveable city for everyone including disabled people, those on low incomes, vulnerable residents and young people, who are often the ones most affected by a lack of available public transport, high costs of travel and poor air quality. Older people and infants are more vulnerable to airborne pollution, for example.
We need to improve access to frequent public transport services in the suburbs, from where journeys often require a change of buses in the city centre. The attractiveness of cycling some of these journeys can also be improved, with more cycle friendly routes. Our network of public rights of way (footpaths, bridleways, and byways) also provide important links between more suburban areas, and to our green and open spaces including the South Downs National Park.
There is a need to fully understand and overcome physical and social barriers that prevent people from reaching essential and important facilities and services, including through pro-active engagement with equality, diversity and community groups in the city.
The council has recently established the Active and Inclusive Travel Forum to work together with organisations across the city to develop initiatives, exchange knowledge and expertise, and share issues and experiences so that practical solutions can be put in place.
LTP5 needs to ensure that experiences and places can be enjoyed by the widest number of people and that they have equal access to their destinations of choice. This will enable people of all abilities and ages to travel confidently, easily, independently, and without extra cost; for many, travel is a significant share of living costs.
A healthier and safer city
We are sixth highest in the country for percentage of physically active adults, but this varies significantly by age group and area. For example, over a quarter of adults in areas of Whitehawk, Bevendean and Hangleton are inactive, compared to less than 12% in areas of central Brighton.
Physical inactivity is responsible for one in six UK deaths (equal to smoking). Staying physically active is an essential way to look after your wellbeing, de-stress, stay healthy and manage long-term health conditions including some cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.
Active travel – such as walking, wheeling (wheelchair / mobility aid), cycling or scooting – has been identified as one of the best and easiest ways to build in daily physical activity. Twenty minutes of exercise per day cuts risk of developing depression by 31%. It helps improves mood, concentration and sleep. Active travel also gives you a feeling of wellbeing, freedom and independence.
It is neither inevitable nor acceptable that anyone should be killed or seriously injured when travelling. LTP5 needs a Vision Zero approach to road safety, that seeks to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries. Vision Zero recognises that all of us, whether we are travelling or managing the transport network, share a responsibility and a moral obligation to reduce danger and the fear it creates.
We need to improve the safety of all users of our streets, while reducing the fear of danger which can create barriers to switching to sustainable, active travel, particularly to cycling. Many people don’t cycle because they don’t feel safe and improving levels of confidence is key. Women, older people, people from ethnic minority backgrounds, and disabled people are all less likely to cycle and many have never been on a bike. Twice as many men (24% of men, 12% of women) currently ride a bike at least once a week in cities.
The Climate Emergency
Scientific evidence shows that the planet is warming, and that human activity is the main contributor. Carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, and we are already seeing the consequences of climate change in our city and around the world.
The national picture
Transport is the fastest growing source of global greenhouse gas emissions. It is the UK’s biggest polluting sector, responsible for around one third of domestic greenhouse gases emissions, the largest share of all sectors including energy, business and homes. Of this, cars (including taxis) are responsible for around 55% and HGVs or vans a further 33%.
The UK government has committed to reducing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Many towns and cities across the UK, including Brighton & Hove, have committed to becoming carbon neutral much sooner. ‘Carbon neutral’ means that carbon emissions will be reduced, as far as possible, and those remaining will be offset through carbon sinks (a natural environment that absorbs carbon such as a forest) or carbon reduction projects.
Efforts are being made to reduce carbon emissions nationally. For example, a government ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be introduced from 2030. However, simply switching the current number of journeys to zero carbon vehicles will not be enough: we also need to cut the frequency and distance we travel.
In late 2020, the government launched a 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution, which includes a number of measures to encourage more walking, cycling, public transport journeys. It also aims to speed up the switch to zero and low emission vehicles including electric cars and vans. More sustainable transport and travel are a key part of supporting a low carbon economy.
The Department for Transport has recently published the government’s first transport decarbonisation plan, Decarbonising transport: a better, greener Britain. This sets out the government’s commitments and actions needed to decarbonise the entire transport system in the UK.
- the pathway to net zero transport in the UK
- the wider benefits net zero transport can deliver
- the principles that underpin the approach to delivering net zero transport
The local picture
Brighton & Hove was one of the first cities in the country to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency, and the council has recently adopted a Carbon Neutral Programme to deliver our commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030. This sets the direction for action on climate change by the council, partners and residents across the city for the rest of the decade. We need to act fast: to reach our carbon neutral target the city’s emissions need to fall by 12.7% annually. The more we do now, the less we’ll have to do as we approach 2030.
A large share of this fall needs to come from transport, since this accounts for one third of total emissions. During recent years, emissions from transport have fallen much more slowly than for other areas such as energy, homes and industry.
Reducing carbon from transport by 2030 requires enormous changes in the way and frequency that people travel, in vehicle technology and fuel sources.
The council is working hard to reduce its own corporate carbon emissions but these amount to only 2% of the city’s emissions. We have, so far, decommissioned oil boilers, installed solar panels on council buildings and upgraded street lighting. We are also gradually replacing our fleet with fully electric and petrol/electric hybrids.
The climate assembly
In autumn 2020, the city hosted a climate assembly which brought together a representative group of around 50 residents to discuss how we can reduce transport-related emissions over the next decade.
After hearing from expert speakers, the assembly members strongly supported taking action in a number of ways, recognising that wide-ranging changes to the way we travel will be both necessary and challenging.
The climate assembly members generated recommendations that focused on the need for a set of interventions to make travel more accessible, affordable, cleaner and safer, such as:
- reduced travel by private vehicles
- increased active travel, and
- improved public transport
They also recommended actively consulting and engaging the city’s residents when developing and implementing any changes.
The youth climate assembly
A youth climate assembly, made up of 25 members aged between 12 and 25 was also formed.
This was established by a young climate activist, who wanted to ensure that the voice of younger residents of the city was also heard on the climate issues up for discussion.
The youth climate assembly was designed and organised to mirror the discussions and actions of the main assembly. Members supported taking action in a number of areas including cycling and public transport, for example safer cycle storage and more incentives to use local buses.
Climate assembly member quotes
“It’s very hard to think about how what you do will make a difference to climate change”
“I am really deeply concerned about the climate crisis. It’s important to me that we shouldn’t leave the future in a worse state than we inherited it.”
"We need to be radical. It can’t be a slow shift. We are, I don’t want to be negative, but we are running out of time”
Recovering from COVID-19
The consequences of COVID-19 have been devastating and it continues to be an extremely difficult and challenging time for many people. However, it has given us the opportunity to change and improve some areas of our lives. The pandemic has already changed how many of us work, shop, study, keep fit, socialise and enjoy ourselves. This has impacted on our travel patterns, how streets are being used, and how we access goods and services.
Impacts of COVID-19
During the first and subsequent lockdowns most people stayed at home, resulting in fewer cars on the roads, which helped residents enjoy cleaner air, quieter streets, discover more of their local area, and support local businesses that could remain open. A number of key routes in the city recorded up to a 60% fall in traffic levels in April 2020 compared to the same month in 2019.
COVID-19 has led to changes in behaviour and attitudes towards physical activity, with an increase in the public’s desire to be more active, and a rise in popularity of cycling and walking. There have been more people walking, wheeling (wheelchair / mobility aid), running and cycling in our parks or on the Downs, and along our streets and seafront, as part of their daily exercise. This has helped many residents to maintain their health and mental wellbeing.
However, for others, COVID-19 has brought increased loneliness and/or poor mental health. It has particularly impacted on vulnerable residents including the elderly, homeless and people with long term health conditions. Younger residents have also suffered and have been hit by the increases in youth unemployment due to the disproportionate impacts on our strong creative, arts, retail, and visitor economy.
Government advice and personal health concerns have dented confidence in using bus and rail services. Although levels of bus and train use are now rising again, many residents, commuters and visitors to the city have returned to driving, meaning that traffic levels in the city have gradually crept back towards their normal levels. Traffic levels counted across a number of our key routes were only 9% lower in October 2020 compared to the same month in 2019.
Also, the increase in online shopping including food shops and takeaways has seen a greater use of delivery vans, which are generally diesel powered and contribute more to climate change and poor air quality.
A post-COVID-19 city supported by a greener economy
COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to think differently about how we do things, and an appetite for change. The city needs to grow back sustainably as it recovers from the pandemic so that we come back better and stronger than we were before. We need to improve the experience of everyone living, working in and visiting the city, from moving between places to visiting attractions and shopping areas.
As the city starts to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 we must try to capture the positives. Beyond the pandemic it is likely that some changes will not be fully reversed. Hybrid working (mixture of home and office working) could become the norm and the growth in online shopping, including for food, will likely continue.
As the city safely reopens, we need to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents by improving air quality, switching more space from vehicles to people, and supporting opportunities to use more active methods of travel. This will help to reduce congestion for vehicle users and enable more people to enjoy the most affordable ways of getting around.
We need to prioritise the use of active travel for shorter journeys and public transport for longer journeys (for all or part of the journey), while ensuring that all residents in the city can get around easily.
LTP5 needs to be flexible enough to adapt to changing priorities as the medium and longer term impacts of COVID-19 become better understood.
The story so far
The city has a lot to be proud of when it comes to transport and travel; we have much more work to do but certainly have a head start over other parts of the country.
We have the highest levels of walking to school for at least three days a week. Levels of cycling to work are much higher than the average across England, supported by one of the most successful bike share schemes in the country. Brighton & Hove is one of the most physically active cities in the country.
We recognise that not everyone can walk and/ or cycle, and it isn’t always appropriate for longer journeys. To help, we have one of the best local bus networks in the country and the highest bus use in the UK outside of London. We also have eight railway stations providing frequent connections locally and further afield.
The council has been successful in securing external funding to work with partner organisations to deliver changes that support people to make journeys on foot (including use of wheelchair / mobility aid), by cycle, bus or train, improving access for disabled people, and encouraging the use of cleaner vehicles for motorised journeys. Here are some examples.
Encouraging zero-emission vehicles
- Low emission vehicle drivers receive a 50% discount on parking permits
- An initial 200 new lamp post charging points for electric cars are available on streets across the city, as well as new rapid-charging hubs for electric and hybrid taxis
- An Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is in place for buses within the central areas of Castle Square, North Street and Western Road to Palmeira Square. The majority of buses already meet the emissions standard, well in advance of the required date of October 2024
- Brighton & Hove Buses has introduced over 50 extended range electric buses
- The Big Lemon launched the UK’s first solar-powered bus in 2018, and currently has 12 electric vehicles that are powered by solar panels on the roof of its bus depot
- The council is supporting local businesses and organisations to switch to electric cargo (eCargo) bikes for deliveries of goods and services, including a free loan of eCargo bikes
Encouraging reduced car use, and increased public transport use
- Brighton & Hove's City Plan (the council’s development plan for the city through to 2030) limits car parking, and encourages the development of car-free and low parking developments
- Improved priority lane camera (CCTV) enforcement is helping to keep lanes clear and buses, coaches and taxis moving, while improved bus shelters (including ‘real-time’ timetable information) have enhanced the waiting environment
- The council supports workplaces to promote sustainable travel to their employees and we provide personalised travel information to residents and community organisations
- In partnership with the South Downs National Park and the National Trust, the council promotes the Breeze up to the Downs bus network, which helps people travel sustainably to Stanmer Park and the South Downs National Park
Encouraging and enabling active travel
- The Valley Gardens area is being improved, providing more attractive public spaces and safer and more direct walking and cycling links
- The council is working with schools to encourage healthier travel and has restricted traffic outside some schools at drop-off and pick-up times, via the School Streets initiative
- We are working in partnership with Sustrans, a cycling and walking charity, on the national 'Bike It' scheme which aims to get more young people cycling to school and for other journeys
- BTN Bikeshare now has 600 bicycles located at nearly 80 hubs across the city, and is still expanding
- We provide financial support for cycles and cycling equipment along with cycle training
In 2020 we delivered a large programme of Covid-19 transport response schemes across the city, focused on temporary walking and cycling improvements supporting active travel and physical distancing to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. In a city with such high bus use, providing safe active travel infrastructure was important to complement the temporary reduced public transport capacity, providing alternative travel options for some residents. We have secured additional funding to extend some of these measures, as well as permanently improve the options for active travel in other areas of the city. Find out more about the Active Travel Fund measures.
Our vision and outcomes
Our vision statement is where we want to be by 2030
Better connected residents, businesses and visitors, for an improved quality of life in a healthy, inclusive and carbon neutral city
Our new transport plan will help to achieve our vision by focussing on delivering 6 key outcomes.
A sustainable, strong and fair economy
Where everyone has affordable access to education and employment opportunities, and benefits from a growing, open, talented, fair, and sustainable city.
Safe, healthy and welcoming streets and neighbourhoods
Where everyone feels confident however they travel, and our streets and local centres become vibrant places to enjoy, relax and socialise.
An accessible city with a transport network that everyone can use
Where affordable door-to-door journeys especially for disabled people and residents living in suburban areas, can be made with ease and certainty.
Improved air quality to safeguard the health of our communities
Where the way we travel will ensure that people have the best opportunity to live a healthy, happy and fulfilling life.
Reduced carbon emissions to protect our global environment
To contribute to reaching our 2030 carbon neutral target.
Travel that respects our local environment
To minimise the impact of transport on our natural, built and historic environment.
What we need to do – our 3 key principles
To meet our outcomes for LTP5, the new transport plan needs to be built around three key principles: Reduce, Shift and Clean.
1. Reduce the need to travel
Avoiding or reducing the frequency and length of trips we make by vehicles
Although not suitable for everyone, we have seen during the pandemic how it is possible to study or work from home and have good online access to health, financial, retail and other services. This can have a huge part to play in avoiding the need to travel, especially where we can remove longer vehicle journeys, which have the largest impact on the environment and society.
To accommodate our continued population growth, we need to create more mixed use developments that enable people to exercise, play, shop, work or go to school locally, which are designed to prioritise disabled access and walking, and are located on principal cycling and public transport routes.
The need to travel by motor vehicles can also be reduced by the creation of 20 minute neighbourhoods across the city, a concept where all of our day to day needs including schools, shops, cafes and leisure facilities are close by, for example, a 20 minute return walk or short cycle.
These neighbourhoods would help people to shop locally and could include co-working hubs that provide shared office space, complete with meeting rooms and cafes. These allow residents to work away from home in a communal environment but without travelling to their normal place of work. The re-use of redundant office space, vacant shops and other buildings could help support 20 minute neighbourhoods.
2. Shift how people travel
Prioritising walking and cycling for shorter journeys, and public transport for longer journeys
This is particularly important for us to be able to accommodate the additional travel generated by further planned growth and intensification of the city.
58% of car journeys across the country are under five miles; in urban areas, more than 40% of journeys are under two miles. For many people, these journeys are perfectly suited to cycling and walking. Some residents however, including disabled people in particular, will always need to use their cars for short journeys.
Last year the government launched Gear Change which sets out what is required for half of all journeys in towns and cities to be walked or cycled; it is currently around 29%. It recognises that cycling and walking can help tackle some of the most challenging issues we face as a society – improving air quality, combatting climate change, improving health and wellbeing, addressing inequalities, and easing congestion, while also helping to deliver clean growth.
Switching to active travel options will help free up the roads for disabled people, deliveries, emergency services, local traders and others who need to drive, and will reduce the volumes of traffic people experience.
People often over-estimate distances and how long it will take them to walk, especially for local journeys. Taking into account time spent in traffic and to find a parking space, cycling and walking may be faster for short journeys. Short car journeys impact most on air quality and pollution levels can be higher inside cars than on the street.
To enable a switch from the car, streets need to be designed to put people first. The right balance has to be found between space for people and vehicles, which depends on the type of street or area of the city. We need to create more space for walking, cycling and public transport, by reducing the significant amount of space across the city taken up by cars, which on average spend around 96% of the day parked.
Redesigning streets will also allow us to give more space back to people through, for example, local community mini gardens or pocket parks, with trees or vegetation, or squares, to provide more space for relaxing, street markets or local events. These can also support the local economy: well-planned improvements in the walking environment can increase shopping footfall by up to 40%.
We are looking to make cycling and walking the natural choice for short journeys (or as part of a longer journey). Our Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) is currently in development. It will enhance links between Brighton & Hove and neighbouring towns and areas, including the South Downs National Park. Wider benefits of the plan include greater connectivity, equality of opportunity, and improved public health and overall quality of life.
The plan will cover a 10 year period and will include strategic routes and areas for improvement. Residents, organisations and businesses will be able to comment on the LCWIP during the public consultation (in autumn 2021). We are aiming for the first LCWIP to be adopted in early 2022.
Motorcycles may also provide an option where active travel or public transport is not an attractive or practical alternative. They can provide an affordable and flexible means of travel, quicker journeys than by car, and help reduce congestion due to their size. Sections of bus lanes on some major routes into the city are already open to motorcycles.
A shared transport network also enables people to shift from private car travel. As well as public transport, options such as BTN Bikeshare and car clubs make it easier for everyone to have access to the most appropriate form of travel for their journey, without the costs and hassles of ownership.
Car clubs offer car and van hire on an hourly and daily basis to their members, who normally pay a monthly or annual membership fee. Members book a vehicle in advance, which is picked up from a dedicated parking space on streets at around 80 locations in the city. Research suggests that for each car club car, the need for between 5 and 8 privately owned vehicles may be removed. Car clubs can help to reduce congestion and relieve the pressure on parking spaces in urban areas.
3. Clean vehicle travel
Vehicle travel to be low or zero emission, powered by renewable energy sources
The council will continue to support the switch to low or zero emission vehicles by assisting and providing incentives for residents and businesses to switch to electric, hydrogen or other clean energy. We will work with businesses, energy and transport companies and neighbouring authorities to provide the infrastructure required such as hydrogen refuelling stations.
The uptake of zero emission vehicles in the city is increasing but is still very low; there are currently less than 800 plug-in electric cars registered in Brighton & Hove, representing fewer than 1% of all cars in the city. In addition to better availability of charging points, the fall in the relative cost of electric vehicles over time will make them more accessible.
Electric scooters are increasingly seen on the streets of our city and offer the potential for convenient, clean and cost-effective travel for some residents. However, privately owned e-scooters remain illegal for use on the public highway. Many towns and cities across the country are currently trialling e-scooter rental schemes, to assess the safety of their use on roads (in traffic lanes, not on pavements) and in cycle lanes. The outcome of this may be that they become a more common way of getting about in the city.
Although an important step, simply switching diesel or petrol car trips to cleaner low or zero emission vehicles is not enough: it will not tackle congested roads, physical inactivity or improve air quality. We also need to use vehicles more efficiently, including delivery vehicles.
There are currently fewer zero emission options when it comes to larger vehicles. Brighton & Hove Buses are trialling buses powered by hydrogen fuel cells, which allow the buses to travel further than what a fully charged battery offers in an electric vehicle. On the rail network, hydrogen passenger train trials are underway in the UK.
The council has a programme in place to switch its refuse collection and other large servicing vehicles from diesel to electric or other low-carbon fuels over the next 10 years.
There are also fewer options for the movement of goods, particularly larger deliveries such as those to industry, large retail stores and supermarkets. The government is looking at possible alternative fuels for heavy goods vehicles. An increasing emphasis on spontaneous ordering and same or next day orders creates an additional challenge for deliveries to be undertaken in an organised and more sustainable way.
For smaller goods transport and deliveries, low-carbon options include electric vans and electric cargo bikes or scooters, which are already being used by a number of businesses and organisations in the city.
How we get there – our priority areas and interventions
In support of our 3 key principles, we have identified 6 transport priority areas:
- create an inclusive and integrated transport system
- develop streets and places that encourage and enable active travel
- increase public transport use
- reduce car use
- promote and facilitate the use of low and zero emission vehicles
- promote and use technology to reduce and manage travel
We have created an initial set of proposed interventions for each of these (see our Proposed interventions section), many of which are already in place or under development in the city. To deliver these we will continue to work in close partnership with transport operators and providers, and organisations outside of the transport sector. These will be reviewed during the lifetime of the new transport plan.
Create an inclusive and integrated transport system
Interventions to improve accessibility of the transport network and the integration between different forms of travel will benefit everyone and help support a shift from private car to more affordable and sustainable options. Lack of convenient access to alternatives to a car, and the inconvenience of switching between different methods of travel, are among the many reasons why people choose to drive for some journeys. An inclusive and integrated transport system will support a better customer experience for visitors arriving in the city.
The design of new transport schemes will fully consider the needs of disabled and elderly people, from providing dropped kerbs at road crossings to level-access boarding of buses, safely designed traffic-free areas, places to rest, and increased parking for blue badge holders. There is also a need to continue providing clear and accessible information on travel options for residents and visitors, and work closely with more vulnerable residents to give them the confidence, support and training that enables them to travel more affordably and independently.
Develop streets and places that encourage and enable active travel
Our streets form the arteries of the city and need to be attractive, safe and healthy places, rather than clogged with vehicles. As well as enabling us to travel confidently, they are places to enjoy, play and rest for many residents, workers and visitors. They need to be attractive, easy to use and safe for everyone, from children to disabled people.
Developing a public realm (public spaces that are open to all) that encourages and enables active travel requires the reallocation of road space to walking and cycling, and improving the journey quality of these.
This will encourage more people to walk and cycle and provide a strong message to all road users that these ways of travelling are a central part of the city’s transport offer. The Covid-19 transport response schemes have already presented an opportunity to test the impacts of reallocating road space.
Theft is an issue affecting owners of cycles (and motorcycles), limiting the attractiveness of using these. We need more secure on-street parking at homes and destinations to help address this.
Increase public transport use
Increasing public transport use, including taxis, will support a reduction in private car use. Measures should seek to improve coverage of the public transport network and accessibility to it, make these options faster and more punctual, and increase reliability, efficiency, and affordability for those on lower incomes or families travelling together.
In support of increasing bus use, the government has recently launched a national bus strategy to deliver better bus services for passengers across England. This is intended to support the Covid-19 recovery and will require the council to establish even stronger partnership working with local bus operators and for us to prepare a Local Bus Service Improvement Plan. This will build on our current bus network review and set out a number of improvements including ambitious priority schemes in congested locations.
Reduce car use
Alongside providing alternative options for some journeys, a reduction in car use could be achieved through a range of measures including limiting or charging for car use on the city’s roads. This could be based on vehicle or fuel type, emissions standards, distance driven, time of day, day of the week or geographic location. Exemptions could be in place for those who need to use a car, including disabled drivers. Any proposed measures would be thoroughly explored and consulted on as part of a national scheme. A ‘pay as you drive’ charge is being considered by the government, which is likely to replace the current fuel duty.
Managing demand for car parking through, for example pricing and number of spaces, including in new housing and office developments, will also influence travel decisions and contribute to reducing car use. Lift sharing, for example on the commute, also helps to reduce the overall number of car trips. Building on measures that are already in place, we can aim to reduce the number of people who use the car as their primary form of transport, while ensuring that those needing to use a car, such as disabled people, are prioritised in allocating parking spaces.
Promote and facilitate the use of low and zero emission vehicles
Encouraging and enabling people to shift to low and zero emission vehicles will play an important role in reducing the carbon emissions of transport and improving local air quality. To ensure maximum uptake of electric vehicles, delivery of more infrastructure, for example charging points, must be accompanied by measures to encourage electric vehicle use, including eBikes, eCargo bikes and mopeds/scooters.
It also requires promotion of the use of low or zero emissions goods and servicing vehicles, and reducing the need for some goods vehicles to enter the city centre at all. This is done by providing facilities that enable changes in delivery practices and allow for more sustainable ‘last mile’ deliveries.
Promote and use technology to reduce and manage travel
Advances in technology have the potential to reduce the need to travel for business, commuting, leisure and other trips including freight and deliveries. The UK’s response to Covid-19 has necessitated a reduction in travel with a significant increase in home working for those who are able to. Supporting the development of high speed digital connectivity will help to ‘lock in’ this change.
When we do need to travel, technology can keep us better informed about door to door travel options including routes, journey times, interchanges, step-free provision, costs/ fares and carbon footprint. It can also assist during our journeys with live information on bus stop or platform departures, seating availability, delays or incidents, traffic congestion, and parking space availability. Smarter infrastructure (such as signals) can also help manage the flow of vehicles more efficiently.
The government is working with the transport and technology sectors to trial connected and autonomous vehicles. These vehicles are able to ‘talk’ to each other, to other road users including pedestrians and cyclists, and to the infrastructure around them such as traffic signals. This could help to keep traffic flowing and make our roads safer by reducing human errors that can lead to collisions.
Automated vehicles could also improve travel options for those unable to drive or make their journey by active travel or public transport. While the reality of fully autonomous vehicles on our roads is some way off, the council will need to work with partners to ensure that they support the delivery of all our transport priorities.
We have created an initial set of proposed interventions for each of the 6 priority areas, many of which are already in place or under development in the city. To deliver these we will continue to work in close partnership with transport operators and providers, and organisations outside of the transport sector. These will be reviewed during the lifetime of the new transport plan.
Create an inclusive and integrated transport system
- More step-free access
- Safer road crossings
- Local mobility hubs
- Improved bus and rail interchanges
- More secure on-street motorcycle parking
- More disabled parking bays
- Integrated journey planning and payment
- Promoting and supporting community transport services
Develop streets and places that encourage and enable active travel
- Improved walking routes
- More wayfinding signs and information
- Liveable City Centre – a more attractive and vibrant centre
- More pedestrian priority areas
- Strategic cycling network
- Improved public rights of way network
- More secure on-street cycle parking at homes and destinations
- Extension of BTN BikeShare including eBikes – more bikes and locations
- Vision Zero approach to road safety
- Greening and climate proofing of public realm including tree planting
- Active travel and public health behaviour change campaigns
- Low traffic neighbourhoods to create more liveable streets
- School Streets to create healthier school zones
- Better designed and more mixed use neighbourhoods
- Enforcement of vehicle speed limits, pavement parking, street works and moving traffic offences
Increase public transport use
- Strategic mobility hubs
- Priority measures at ‘pinch points’ including extensions to bus lanes or changes at junctions
- Red routes – restrictions on vehicles stopping to park or load/unload on key routes
- More affordable bus travel
- Greater Brighton mass transit – express bus-based system connecting Brighton to Shoreham and Worthing
- Rail improvements to achieve faster and more reliable journeys
Reduce car use
- Behaviour change incentivisation campaigns
- Delivery of adult cycle training and maintenance skills courses
- Bespoke cycle training courses for underrepresented groups in cycling
- Workplace parking levy – a charge on employers who provide workplace car parking for staff
- Controlled Parking Zones in more areas of the city
- More car-free or low car developments including housing and offices
- Personalised travel planning
- School and workplace travel plans
- Road user charging (national scheme)
Promote and facilitate the use of low and zero emission vehicles
- Emissions-based parking charges
- Expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone – an emissions-based charge for vehicles
- More electric vehicle charging points at homes and destinations
- Financial incentives to switch to electric vehicles
- Behaviour change campaigns to switch to electric vehicles
- Better provision for eCargo bikes on the cycling network
- Freight delivery hubs
- Council fleet and contractors to use zero emission vehicles
- More electric shared transport vehicles – buses, car club, private hire and taxis
- Low emission bus corridors
- Hydrogen refuelling stations for buses and other larger vehicles
Promote and use technology to reduce and manage travel
- Full fibre network and broadband infrastructure
- ‘Click and collect’ delivery points
- Co-working hubs to provide shared office space
- Supporting employers and service providers to provide remote access
- Smart traffic signalling
- Live travel information
Examples of current and recent projects
Inclusive and safe travel
Bike project at the local women’s refuge
During the pandemic the council’s Sustainable Travel team, working in partnership with Cranks, Sustrans and RISE, has provided cycle training to women and children at the city’s domestic violence refuge and provided them with reserviced bikes when they move on from the refuge.
The project has helped to empower and build confidence in both the women and children, as well as supporting them to get around the city and reduce travel costs.
“I can’t afford the bus fare to the beach and it’s too far to walk, I’m so excited I can now ride there.” Bike project user
Pedal People, a small independent Brighton charity, provides weekly, year-round rides to elders living in care, enabling them to interact with their community and experience wind in their hair!
It is the city’s only disabled cycling provider, giving 2,000 rides a year. In 2021 it is expanding to all ages, with guided and co-piloted options allowing families, carers and friends to cycle together.
Accessible cycling is often easier than walking/using mobility aids for many and improves wellbeing, health and independence.
“I feel back in the land of the living.” Violet, 95
“I loved it, just loved it. So nice to talk with so many people and the children and even the dogs! It’s magic being on a bike outside with everyone!” Reg 98 and Beryl, 90
Brighton & Hove Healthwalks has been providing daily volunteer-led social walks across the city for 18 years.
While the pandemic stopped group walks for much of the last year, Healthwalks helped to keep people motivated to walk in their local communities through its online walking challenges. Scores of local people participated and have collectively walked thousands of miles and logged millions of steps, by recording their daily walks for leisure or active travel.
Healthwalks also joined the virtual 2021 World Walking Challenge for mental health charity Mind, where walkers joined a virtual hike to Everest, collectively walking 11,000 miles.
Share the Roads, Share the Responsibility
Failure to look properly is the main cause of collisions, whatever kind of road user you are in the city.
80% of the city’s collisions and casualties happen within 20 metres of a junction.
The council runs road safety campaigns in partnership with many organisations on key risk factors. The Share the Roads, Share the Responsibility campaign aims to highlight the dangers of multitasking while driving, cycling or walking, and has included the use of printed banners on our pavements on the approach to junctions.
Valley Gardens Phase 3 accessibility audit
The first two phases of Valley Gardens have seen improvements to reallocate road space and create new accessible open spaces and transport corridors between St Peter’s Church and Old Steine, including new cycle lanes, priority lanes for public transport and landscaped spaces. Phase 3 covers the area from the Old Steine to the Palace Pier roundabout.
The council worked with Possability People, a user-led charity working with and for disabled people. They work to ensure disabled people can live independently, and that their voices are heard when services are planned or developed.
Possability People planned and conducted an accessibility audit of the Phase 3 area, to identify locations requiring improvements, either as a temporary measure during the scheme construction, or as part of the final scheme.
Further design workshops are being held as the Phase 3 design progresses and there is a commitment to carry out further accessibility audits during the three year monitoring period once construction is completed.
Healthy and integrated travel
The BTN Bikeshare scheme was launched in 2017; over 1.3 million trips have been made using the current fleet of 600 bicycles located at nearly 86 hubs across the city, with more to come. Over 3 million miles have been cycled by subscribed users. 80% of people using Brighton Bikeshare say they save time and their journeys are easier.
“After signing up for the yearly subscription, I’ve been using the bikes along the seafront cycle lanes to get to my studio come rain or shine! They’ve been invaluable over lockdown and allowed me to get a daily dose of exercise” Toba, Brighton
The Smile Book – 5 ways to wellbeing
The book is written for young children and their families, and is based around the ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ - 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing.
‘Smile’ translates these steps into more child-friendly ideas for parents, carers and children to use and enjoy together.
The characters in the book practise the ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ on their everyday journeys, while they are walking, scooting, cycling, travelling by bus or ‘park & striding’. Families can then practise the ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ on their own everyday journeys.
Nearly 30 schools across the city are using the book and a set of lessons with their reception children (4-5 year olds). Each lesson ends by encouraging the children to take the ideas on to their journey home.
School Streets – St Luke’s Primary School
St Luke’s Primary School was the first school in the city to trial a School Streets closure in March 2019. The success of the pilot scheme means that different measures, including infrastructure, are now being trialled at some schools to determine which model works best to sustain School Streets closures over the long term.
“School Streets has been transformational in terms of its positive impact on drop off and pick up at St. Luke’s. What was once a time of pressure and anxiety for many children and parents/carers alike has now become a time for the community to meet safely together free from their previous fears of traffic and pollution. It is clear from talking to parents/carers that many more families are now walking or scootering more regularly into school and they have quickly grown to love their School Street.”
Jonathan Cooper, Headteacher
Joining many cities worldwide, the council has recently launched the Move for Change campaign through the BetterPoints smartphone app and online platform, which rewards residents and commuters for using active and sustainable travel in the city. The points can be converted into vouchers, money off or credit which can then be spent at local high street shops.
Mobility hubs, Bremen (Germany)
The Municipality of Bremen has been creating a network of mobility hubs since 2003, offering on-street interchanges between car sharing, public transport and cycling. The network currently consists of more than 40 mobil.punkt locations, a mixture of larger, centralised hubs and smaller micro-hubs in neighbourhoods where daily trips start. The hubs have increased motivation for reclaiming public street space and it has been proven that each station-based car share vehicle removes 16 vehicles from the roads. Mobility hub pilot projects are now under development in towns and cities across the UK.
Workplace parking levy, Nottingham
Nottingham has committed to becoming a carbon neutral city by 2028. A workplace parking levy was introduced in the city in 2012. It places a charge on larger businesses (with 11 or more parking spaces) for each space that they own and use for their employees, business vehicles or visitors. The annual charge, which some employers pass onto staff, is currently £428 per space.
The revenue collected is used to fund sustainable transport improvements including improved rail station interchanges and electric buses, and provide initiatives and facilities at workplaces that encourage staff to switch to more sustainable travel.
Clean travel and technology
Electrifying the council vehicle fleet
Since 2019, the council has been planning to move to a carbon neutral fleet. In November 2020, our fleet strategy was agreed, outlining our commitment and approach to achieving this.
To date, we have replaced 21 vehicles with fully electric ones and 14 vehicles with petrol/ electric hybrids. Fully electric dustcarts are now in production for use in the city. As well as helping reduce carbon emissions, they are cost effective: an electric dustcart costs just £5 per day to charge compared to £65 per day to run a diesel dustcart. They are also extremely quiet.
To further reduce our carbon footprint, we will be looking to convert as many of our existing trucks and street cleaning vehicles as possible over to electric; and solar panels have been installed at our Hollingdean depot to help charge the vehicles.
Local surplus food charity goes electric
The Sussex branch of national food charity FareShare has begun an exciting project to trial the use of electric vehicles to redistribute surplus food to people in need.
FareShare Sussex alleviates hunger and reduces food waste through the redistribution of surplus food to vulnerable people via its network of community organisations.
Since the pandemic, they have tripled the amount of food they normally deliver as numbers of people requiring emergency food has grown.
Access to external funding has enabled FareShare Sussex to purchase both an electric van and electric cargo bike.
“It is exciting to be involved in a project that is leading the way in the transition to zero emissions logistics, which we so greatly need in this climate crisis. The electric van has had a huge impact in reducing the emissions across our fleet, saving nearly 1,500kg of C02 in just three months.”
Project Coordinator Nathan
Fibre to the Premises
Residents, visitors and businesses will soon benefit from faster and more reliable fibre based internet, with a number of projects delivering fibre to nearly all premises in the city. For example, work has begun on an £80m rollout of full fibre broadband throughout the city, beginning with Moulsecoomb & Bevendean ward.
This new fibre connectivity will mean faster and more reliable internet, with connections less prone to slowing down during busy times of the day or when several devices are connected at the same time. During the pandemic we have seen our need for good quality internet connections increase with children having to be home schooled during periods of lockdown, more people working from home and connecting with friends and relatives by video.
Pedal powered plumbers
The council supports local businesses and organisations to switch to eCargo bikes for deliveries of goods and services. Mittens Plumbing received impartial advice to help them select the best eCargo bike for their needs, large enough to transport all of the necessary tools and equipment for most customers.
The eCargo bike is used for the majority of city centre site visits and completes an average of 37.5 miles a week, previously conducted by a 4x4 diesel Ford Ranger.
Using an eCargo bike for completing home visits has offered:
- £350 monthly savings on fuel, insurance and parking
- Five weekly staff hours saved as riders spend less time in traffic and searching for parking
- Trips to clients are more enjoyable
Local authorities, businesses and organisations from across the city and wider area have formed a new energy group called Hydrogen Sussex. The group aims to position ‘green’ hydrogen as a mainstream energy carrier to help the drive to become a zero carbon economy. The most likely early applications in Sussex are to power heavy vehicles such as buses and refuse vehicles, and mobile fuel cells providing ‘shore power’ to ships while in harbour. Brighton & Hove Buses is already working on a project to convert existing buses to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
Clean Air Zone, Bath
The first Clean Air Zone (CAZ) outside of London was launched in Bath in March 2021, in a bid to cut nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions to legal levels. Daily charges, from £9 for smaller vehicles to £100 for larger higher emission vehicles, apply to enter central Bath for vehicles that do not meet the required emission standards, including taxis, vans, goods vehicles, buses and coaches. They do not apply to private cars and motorcycles. Nearby Bristol is planning to introduce a similar CAZ scheme next year with the same charges, which will also apply to private cars.
How do we pay for this?
Transport improvements in the city, including maintenance of the existing network, are funded mainly by a combination of central government grants, national and regional funds (dependent on successful bids), surplus parking revenues, contributions from developers, and investment by local bus, rail and other transport providers.
Transforming how the city is connected by 2030 requires a significant increase in the amount of funding available to us and our partners, including local transport operators. It will also require a step-change in the decisions we make, the development and delivery of measures across the city and also the capacity of our teams.
The council has been successful on a number of occasions in securing funding for sustainable transport initiatives and will continue to bid for national and regional funds. We will continue to work with our partners and stakeholders, and lobby the government for those additional funds.
We also need to explore other ways of raising additional funds locally, as already happens in London. Some other UK cities are already operating in this way, for example Nottingham has had a workplace parking levy since 2012, to help fund public transport improvements. Cambridge, Leicester and Oxford are also considering the introduction of a workplace parking levy, whilst Bath has recently introduced clean air or low emission zones, soon to be followed by Bristol.