Agenda item - Chairs Communications
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- Meeting of Special Meeting, Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, Wednesday, 21st July, 2021 4.00pm (Item 21.)
21.1 The Chair provided the following communications:
“The pandemic has given us an opportunity to reflect on many things, including how we travel.
When lockdowns restricted our movements, more people chose to leave the car at home and enjoy their local surroundings by foot or by bike. I think it’s given us all a greater appreciation for what’s around us.
We need to do more to protect our environment and our health. The climate emergency remains our biggest threat, and this is not an abstract concept- we are already seeing the effects of it. From the awful floods in Western Europe that have left hundreds dead, to the current heatwave we are experiencing in the UK and record-breaking temperatures in Canada, which has also led to major destruction and hundreds of deaths, its real and it’s happening now. We need to support people to choose sustainable methods of transport which will free up space for those who still need to travel by car: this is the absolute bare minimum we should be doing as a council, and for those who wish to remove active travel infrastructure are simply in denial.
Furthermore, our physical and mental health remains more important than ever. Traveling actively has proven benefits to both and it should be our duty to provide people with a city that supports walking, cycling and a flourishing public transport network. We have a deputation in this meeting from NHS doctors that emphasises this, and I urge all councillors to bear this in mind today.
Those who joined our Climate Assembly last year gave us an excellent steer on where we should be focussing our attention when it comes to transport.
Currently, less than 3% of roads in Brighton and Hove City council have protected cycle lanes, which is absurd. Our job is not done until our roads look like Amsterdam’s where they have a comprehensive, safe and enjoyable transport network. We must work towards a city that supports active, sustainable, and inclusive travel for everyone”.