Agenda item - Chairs Communications

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Agenda item

Chairs Communications


9.1          The Chair provided the following communications:


“I wish to welcome all members and officers to the newly formed Transport and Sustainability Committee. The former administration’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee was not adequate in meeting the breadth and giving proper attention to the full range of issues affecting our environment. Labour considers our environment as important, requiring two committees to ensure proper focus and scrutiny can be achieved through this committee and the City Environment, South Downs and the Sea Committee. 


This committee convened on 21st June at short notice to address the need to review the A259 Fourth Avenue to Wharf Road Active Travel Scheme due to pressing contractual reasons. To remove any doubt, this was to enable a review to better the existing scheme and ensure what is delivered is safer and more accessible for active travellers and disability access along Hove seafront; with improvements for cyclists, walkers, disability access, public transport, emergency and support vehicles and those who need to travel by car or van along this busy Hove seafront route. I wish to thank this committee for supporting this review. Labour is fully committed to active travel and This decision illustrates our determination to deliver a higher standard active travel scheme, better than before. We should not deliver schemes knowing that improvements and amendments will be soon needed.


The electorate of Brighton and Hove made a clear unambiguous choice 2 months ago. This city has put its faith in a party that listens; a party with vision and a party that sets out to restore basic services and deliver sustainable travel for all its residents. 


In this light, we recognise the need to ensure that the Valley Gardens Phase 3 scheme delivers for all. The crowded A23 – A259 intersection in front of Palace Pier needs to work for all constituencies with a focus on safety for all who use this junction – especially cyclists, walkers and disability access. The scheme needs to enhance public transport options to ensure throughflow of buses especially effective east – west movement between North Street and A259 east; to enable environmentally considerate routes for taxis and set out to minimise traffic congestion. There are many favourable aspects of the Valley Gardens Phase 3 plan - we need to ensure these are integral whilst being confident that what is delivered works as best practicable for all constituencies.


No transport scheme can be considered without reference to the wider transport strategy. This means a robust connected strategy for public transport, active travel, businesses and residents. This Labour administration is committed to delivering fair, equitable, accessible, low carbon sustainable integrated transport for our city that works for its residents, businesses and visitors. We recognise the urgency of the climate and biodiversity emergency in combination with the cost of living and fuel and housing crises. We must move away from regressive attitudes towards those who need to drive for work, to access services and connect communities across our city. Yes, we need to ensure public transport is accessible, affordable and meets the needs of our city and ensure active travel is attractive and safe encouraging more people to do so. Studies show that regressive “stick“ approach without “carrot” encouragement are counter-productive and proven not to give the gains for active travel. Labour recognises that studies show a combined “carrot and stick” approach to active travel is the best way to ensure uptake. We listen to the experts when it comes to policy development. By implementing real choice for our city’s transport options, we plan to encourage more residents and visitors to chose active travel, bike share, public transport and low carbon options to move around our city.  We have a plan to meet the immediate need and to develop our vision that works for the 2030s and beyond.


As we mark 10 years of UNESCO designation of Brighton’s unique world recognised Biosphere; a new sustainable transport strategy that is inclusive and reflects the diversity of our amazing welcoming city is now needed. As Chair of the Transport and Sustainability Committee; I want show leadership in how we treat people. How we refer to each other. How we can respect each other as we choose to move around. As an administration, we want to give people genuine freedom of choice; encouraging and enabling positive environmental, affordable, low carbon, safe and accessible choices to travel safely around our amazing biosphere”.


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