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 Smile Book has been developed by the council’s Public Health and School Travel teams.
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.