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We’ve heavily criticised the plans for cyclists and pedestrians in the New Monks Farm planning application in Adur for 600 homes and a new Ikea store next to the A27.  The plans will force pedestrians and cyclists into conflict as the shared paths are too narrow, indirect and potentially dangerous and will put off many from cycling.  The cycle route out of the housing estate has 6 stages of road crossing heading east to the Downs Link and Shoreham.  Coming back again there are 8 crossing stages.  Crossing points are too narrow and central islands too small and will be difficult to get on and off.  Anyone taking a child on a trailer or tag-along will find it difficult if not dangerous to use these paths.  The Country Park has ridiculously narrow paths and bridges plus a loop that will send pedestrians and cyclists through a car park.

The other big impact is the direct and popular crossing of the A27 at Shoreham Pad is being replaced by a convoluted set of crossings at a new roundabout approx 600 m to the west or a sub-standard (too narrow) path along the River Adur and under the A27 before connecting up with Coombes Road.

What’s worse is that West Sussex County Council as the highways authority has only picked up one or two minor issues and ignored the fact that the facilities overall are completely dysfunctional, if not dangerous.  Is it any wonder that there is so little cycling in West Sussex when you have an authority that cares so little about cycling and public health?

Read our press release here

Our formal response to follow, but issues highlighted to date can be read here

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Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth (BHFOE) is challenging Network Rail to start putting the needs of Brighton & Hove above its own convenience.  During the May bank holiday weekend, the start of the Brighton Festival and one of the busiest and most important times for the local economy, engineering works will mean there will be no direct trains to London or Gatwick Airport.

BHFOE are calling for Network Rail to be made more accountable locally.  It believes that Network Rail needs to better understand the needs of local communities and to plan its activities accordingly.  BHFOE is pleased that the City Council and local MPs backed its calls to get services reinstated and the engineering works rescheduled.  It also feels that GTR and its subsidiaries Southern and Thameslink should be backing the city, looking to put on more services on this busy weekend, not fewer, and challenging Network Rail to do better.

BHFOE news release Bank holiday trains

Thank you for everyone for coming to our Campaigns Social last week!!! Was a lovely evening and great to see so many people keen to make a lasting change in our wonderful city. For everyone that didn’t come, it’s only up from here!

Get involved on the next one. We’re meeting again on the 25th at Kiki’s Cafe, 63a Holland Road, Hove, BN3 1BA.

From hearing everything on the night and looking through all the ideas we discussed last week and it’s clear we’re going to achieve some great things.

Some ideas from the night were as follows:

  • Lobbying the council to install attractive recycling bins along the seafront
  • Working with local businesses and the council in a variety of ways to stop single use plastics – for example straws and plastic cups at music events,
  • Campaigns around engine idling to help protect our lungs
  • Working towards a clean-air zone in Brighton and Hove
  • Many many more

Now is the time for next steps. We’ll be getting together on the 25th of April, to discuss everyone’s ideas and take them to the next stage. It would be great if we were all singing from the same sheet so if you could think about ideas within the following it would be great:

For Air Pollution or Plastics what would the following look like?

  • Actions to raise awareness of the issues
  • Goals winnable in the short-term
  • Long Term Goals

More information to follow. Looking forward to working together!

Are you sick of breathing in toxic fumes from road traffic? Fed up of the plastic waste which blights our beaches and streets?

Come along to our campaigns social to join us in improving the city’s environment.

Whether it’s the needless plastic waste that our economy produces, the detritus left on our beaches after every sunny day or sporting event or the polluted air we’re stuck breathing every day – enough is enough!

Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth are meeting to combine forces in our response to the issues of air and plastic pollution – working together to create lasting solutions for our city. There’ll be opportunities to hear more about the challenges and solutions around plastics and air pollution and help shape the direction of our local campaigns.

When: Wednesday 28th March 2018, 7:30 – 9:30pm

Where: Kiki’s Café, 63a Holland Road, Hove, BN3 1BA

We will be offering refreshments and the first drink is on us!

To help us plan the event, please let us know whether you’ll be joining us – register here now!

The more local voices we hear the better. So, feel free to share the event info with others in your area – the more the merrier.

Come along and help improve your local environment.

Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brighton-and-hove-friends-campaigns-social-tickets-43401293437

 

Backward step for cyclists

Proposals to create a permanent loading bay in Lewes Road are a backward step for cyclists

The loading bay close to the Elm Grove junction is currently only meant to be used in off-peak periods. Changing it to 24 hour use will permanently block the cycle lane to the busy Vogue Gyratory and out to the universities. Cyclists will be forced out into the mainstream traffic and it will make it harder for buses to access nearby bus stops.

The council is asking for feedback on the plans until 1 December 2017 – find out more.

Please get in touch if you’d like help taking part in the consultation.

Great news for bees

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has finally backed tougher restrictions on bee-harming pesticides called neonicotinoids.

His landmark decision is down to millions of people keeping up the pressure for a full ban on bee-harming neonics – and it demonstrates just how powerful we can be when we take action together.

Now we need to make sure the UK follows through on today’s announcement by backing European Commission proposals to get these pesticides completely out of our fields.

Please take a minute to pledge your support for Mr Gove’s call for tougher restrictions – and urge him to vote in favour of a full and permanent ban when the time comes.

While we welcome the proposals to redevelop Preston Barracks, we are objecting to the big increase in car parking on traffic and air pollution grounds.  Nearby roads already suffer above legal limits for nitrogen dioxide and this development could make things worse.  It’s likely that levels of nitrogen dioxide will take longer to fall below legal limits and therefore the development could be illegal as it currently stands.  High Court rulings have stressed the need to reduce levels of air pollution “as soon as possible”.  The planning application is being decided on Wednesday 27th September by the City Council.

It is somewhat ironic that the University of Brighton is behind a development that will increase air pollution.  Apart from the fact that it actively promotes its green credentials, its vice chancellor was recently warning of the need to urgently tackle air pollution.  At the same time its academics have done groundbreaking work in this field and have strongly criticised the Government’s poor response to the whole issue.

It’s time the University put its money where its mouth is.  This is a much needed and welcome development in many ways, let down by an out of date approach to transport.  It is quite easy to resolve.  Cap the car parking at current levels for the whole site.  That way traffic levels and pollution will not be made worse and public health will not be at risk.

If a university with air pollution experts cannot get it right, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Currently in Brighton & Hove there are around 175 premature deaths due to air pollution, mostly due to traffic.  For most pollutants there are no known safe levels.

BHFOE news release Preston Barracks

BHFOE response to Preston Barracks application