William Eichler 28 January 2020

Brighton considers becoming a ‘car-free’ city

Brighton & Hove City councillors have agreed to look into the possibility of the city becoming ‘car-free’ by 2023.

The local authority’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee has requested a report that explores the feasibility and costs of developing a car-free city.

The report, which will be presented to the committee in October 2020, will also look at costs and practicalities of any project or any possible exemptions.

‘We were elected on a manifesto pledge to make our city carbon neutral by 2030. We have declared a climate emergency and are making progress on decarbonisation,’ said committee chair Anne Pissaridou.

‘But, we must take major steps to reach our ambitious target, so we are proud to work cross-party and champion a car free city centre.’

Cllr Pissaridou stressed that the decision was in the hands of Brighton & Hove residents.

‘This will be for the climate assembly to decide, as our residents must lead on how we combat the climate crisis,’ she said.

‘We will continue to listen to and work with residents, stakeholders and campaign groups like Extinction Rebellion – as we must all come together to save the planet and the work starts at home.’

A number of UK cities are placing restrictions on vehicles in city centres in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. London led the way, but Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and many others have followed.

Green councillor Amy Heley commented: ‘I proposed this motion because I’ve been inspired by European cities such as Ghent and Oslo, who have demonstrated that a car-free city centre can be beneficial for all.

‘Having a greater understanding of city-centre traffic is a realistic response to the emergency of the climate crisis. It offers an opportunity to deal with congestion, road safety, and dangerous levels of air pollution.

‘This report will help the city understand what the proposals emerging from other UK cities could mean for Brighton & Hove and our ambitious climate targets.’

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