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Travel & Transport in 2030 Brighton & Hove 2030 Vision: our city, our future

How can we improve the city for the future? That was one of the questions asked at our 2030 Vision event about reducing emissions and improving air quality in the city.

"I am not here to tell you what to do, I'm here to cheer you on" - Prof. David Begg

Keynote speakers included transport commentator Professor David Begg and Andy Eastlake, Managing Director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. Members and officers from across the council’s services and key transport partners attended the event, held at the i360 and hosted by Brighton & Hove Bus Company.

The Successes so far

Cllr Gill Mitchell, Martin Harris, Chief Exec of Brighton & Hove Buses, Mark Prior, Assistant Director of City Transport and Tom Druitt of the Big Lemon outlined Brighton & Hove's successes so far:

  • The city is seen as a transport innovator
  • Bikeshare scheme has been a massive success since launch in 2017
  • Air Quality Programme Board designed to focus resources
  • City Plan focuses on sustainable transport
  • The LTP includes measures to address air quality and protections for the natural environment
  • BH buses are low emission and Big Lemon developing it's bus fleet
  • DEFRA funding for new bus models in the city
  • Mass roll out of EV charging points across the city imminent
  • Transport Partnership works to progress clean air priorities

The Challenges for the city

Views of national transport experts from outside Brighton & Hove provided insight into the current and future challenges for the city:

  • Cars the last transport mode Govt prepared to tackle, with a strong car lobby and bus passengers lacking a coherent voice
  • Transport policies not always based on hard evidence but political priorities
  • Congestion is the BIG CHALLENGE. Switching to low-emission and EV with smart tech is essential to addressing sustainability but will be of little value if they don't have space to move anywhere
  • Increase in online shopping a big contributor to congestion. As journeys slow and profits are hit companies try to mitigate impact bu increasing number of delivery vehicles
  • As other places ban high emission vehicles Brighton & Hove is likely to see more appearing on its roads
  • Air quality is complex issue - Behaviour change takes a generation and cost & convenience will drive it
  • To continue the political consensus on the city's transport issues

What could we do in future?

  • Shifting policy making focus from emissions per vehicle to emissions per passenger would make stronger case for use of public transport
  • Setting a target on bus speeds could allow the dividend created from increased efficiency reinvested in making buses more efficient
  • Discourage car use in the city, make it easy to leave cars on the outskirts
  • Avoid punitive measures on emissions against buses to stop driving people into cars
  • Accelerate the low carbon vehicle market to help those who want to move things forward
  • Engaging key stakeholders (transport effects everyone) and making and sharing strong evidence that can lead to behaviour change
  • Focus on the objectives and not the tech - EV not the panacea as it can't deliver clean transport at the rate we need and needs support by a range of other measures
  • Embracing new technology such as micro-hybrid bus models, which are getting close to 0 emissions
  • Fewer cars on the road but used more effectively - Priority uses
  • Better understanding the role of local taxis/Uber/Lyft etc in addressing clean air issues
  • Planning taking on a greater role in tackling air quality. Standards for new developments to consider all transport impacts
  • For the council to ensure the city is designed to make the travel choice that's right for the whole city the most cost effective and easy
  • Increasing accessibility of transport system for disabled and limited mobility travelers can make travel system easier and more pleasant for everyone
"It was pleasing to hear from the experts that we are regarded as one of the forward-thinking authorities in the UK for transport. It was good to be able to talk about building on the successful partnerships fostered by teams across the council to look ahead to 2030.” - Mark Prior, BHCC
The event saw the launch of Brighton & Hove Buses Vision for a sustainable public transport system for the city.

See what the experts think about the future of clean air in Brighton & Hove below:

The Future of Travel & Transport in Brighton & Hove

On 13th June a second event took place. The focus here was on the future of mobility and scenario planning as to where the city sees itself being in the not so distant future and some of the challenges and opportunities we may have to face to get there.

Professor Glenn Lyons, Mott MacDonald Professor of Future Mobility at UWE Bristol was the key note speaker at the event.

The below video published by Mott MacDonald earlier this year provides a brief introduction to Glenn Lyons in his role as Professor at UWE and his newer role with Mott MacDonald as as Chair of their Future Mobility Initiative.

Professor Glenn Lyons outlined the following key points in his presentation:

  • A new lexicon is developing around intelligent mobility.
  • Should continue to drive for good transport availability and choice for residents.
  • Need to consider both what is feasible and desirable - just because we can, does it mean we should?
  • Smart mobility should ultimately be subservient to sustainable mobility.
Models showing the interplay between smart mobility and sustainable mobility.
  • In visioning future transport we need to remain mindful of the triple access system.
Triple Access System
  • Need to consider demographic changes when designing systems.
  • Need to consider changing trends - Trends around young people are changing. Now less likely to get a driving licence which could be outcome of increase urbanisation, increase in digital connectivity and less stability of income, for example.
  • Existence of 'professional impotence' leading to feeling there is a lack of skills required to embrace change and confront uncertainty.
  • Danger of unconscious bias creating a need to ensure the voices of different generations are listened to when examining the future.
  • Responsible innovation is needed. It is important the right conditions exist to get the best of technological development and innovation in the public and private sectors.

We are in the midst of a fundamental transition in society - the uncertainty must be embraced.

Scenario Planning Session

Nick Price, Futurist, 'Of Things Immaterial' facilitated a scenario planning session which looked at 4 possible futures. An overview of the scenarios and a brief look at some of the responses to questions for each scenario can be seen below.

Scenario 1

Q1: How can we take the opportunity of recrafting city transport to increase access for the less able?
  • Better accessibility for cycles, trikes and e-bikes, including improving the surfacing of pedestrian and cycling environment to make it smoother and less hazardous.
  • Ensure less apparent disabilities such as dementia are thought about.
  • Challenge at every point in the design process.
  • Introduce a 'less-able' help app.
  • City transport app/City Mapper for Sussex.
  • Better transport interchanges.
Q2: What are the challenges in transition from fossil fuel to electric vehicles?
  • Inequality and/or selective take-up.
  • Power grid infrastructure and capacity to cope with increased EV numbers.
  • Heavy investment required.
  • Creation of a new environmental issue with increased battery usage.
  • Hydrogen fuel cells do not require the same degree of infrastructure so this may make EV infrastructure redundant.
  • Need for a variety of infrastructure to cater for a wide range of vehicles and charging requirements.
Q3: What challenges and opportunities would pedestrianisation of the city centre present and how could these be solved?
  • Challenges:
  • Less able users may be disadvantaged.
  • Disconnection of bus network.
  • Servicing of businesses in the area.
  • Restriction of people getting to their destinations.
  • Re-routing the existing traffic.
  • Opportunities:
  • A more attractive environment with better quality design of public realm and less pollution.
  • Innovative 'last mile' solutions.

Scenario 2

Q1: What are the vulnerabilities of an automated city to disaster?
  • Vulnerability to terrorist attack through increasing use of AI technology.
  • Reliance on data.
  • Ability and speed of system to respond to random events.
  • Resilience should be designed in through dispersing and creating multiple back-up plans.
  • Lack of expertise or knowledge to maintain.
Q2: How are all citizens able to access transport when it is effectively state controlled?
  • Means test for free access and/or provide financial support for those that need it.
  • Long term investment would be required to ensure it it could be delivered successfully and that reinvestment in continual modernisation can take place.
Q3: What advantage could a fully automated city transport system offer Brighton in the future?
  • Transport oriented development.
  • More efficient use of road space leading to shorter journey times.
  • Improved equality and accessibility.
  • Better inter-connection between journeys.

Scenario 3

Q1: How can Brighton cope with a disastrous rail connection problem?
  • BML2 could provide more resilience.
  • Underground transport system to London.
  • Create more career opportunities in Greater Brighton to reduce the need to commute.
  • Improved links with France, Newhaven and Shoreham ports.
  • Remote working may reduce/remove demand for rail travel so space could be reused.
Q2: How will changes in shopping, retail and delivery be managed by the city?
  • Personalised shoppers for those who are digitally excluded.
  • New employment opportunities could be created for a personalised service over the first/last mile.
  • More collection places outside of the city centre for deliveries.
Q3: How can a city positively influence wellness through transport strategies?
  • Outdoor networking (sweat-working).
  • Community hubs in local parks.
  • Re-imagined business and office space.
  • Need to think about the design of the city.
  • There is already evidence that people who use public transport are healthier and that there are strong linkages between public health and providing for walking and cycling.
  • Pedestrianise more of the city centre.
  • Segregated cycle routes in and around the city.

Scenario 4

Q1: In order to have a diverse personal transport ecosystem, what measures can we put in place now?
  • Support mixed mode transit with good transport interchanges and better digital integration for travel information and ticket purchasing.
  • Invest in first and last mile solutions.
  • Better cycling infrastructure with safer junctions and segregated routes from East to West and North to South.
  • City Mapper to encourage use of all available means.
Q2: How ready is the Brighton and Hove community to cope with a major outage of local transport systems?
  • Low car ownership increases reliance on public transport but cycling and walking are great alternatives.
  • Variety of transport methods available increases resilience.
  • Improved flexible working and technology increases resilience of organisations.
  • Connecting outside of the city is less resilient so commuter and those living in rural areas could be affected the most.
Q3: How can road routes into the city be better utilised for the transport of commuters from outside the city?
  • Reallocate road space to transport methods other than cars.
  • AI may be able to navigate traffic more efficiently.
  • Break up working patterns to reduce pressure at rush hour.
  • Introduce other methods of transport for the first and last mile.

The video below captures some of the thoughts and discussions from the event:

Credits:

Created with images by Dan Freeman - "untitled image"

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