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Peter Kyle, MP for Hove, has pledged his support for a Plastic Pollution Action Plan, backed by legislation to protect wildlife and human health.

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We met with Peter as part of our plan to share our concerns about environmental damage caused by plastic with all three of Brighton & Hove’s MPs.

It’s fantastic to have Peter’s backing for an action plan, which would begin phasing out unneeded plastics now, and look to end pollution from hard-to-replace plastics (like car tyres, paints and clothes) as soon as possible.

Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II has hammered home the tragedy of plastic pollution in our oceans. Up to 12m tonnes  of plastic ends up in the sea each year – not far off the weight of a million London buses.

Sea creatures can get tangled up in plastic – or mistake it for food. The effects can be fatal. Harmful chemicals linked to plastic have been found in species from plankton to dolphins.

It’s time to make a change. Thank you Peter, for your support.

We hope to meet with our other MPs soon. If you’d like to be involved please get in touch or sign our petition – making sure to sign up for our email list.

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We’re urging Brighton & Hove City Council to approve phase 3 of the Valley Gardens scheme at today’s meeting (7 Feb) of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee. The Council will be asked to approve the plans, which we believe are a vast improvement from those that were consulted on last year. We welcome the way that the Council has listened to residents and altered the scheme quite significantly to address people’s concerns.

We believe the plans offer an exciting glimpse of the changes we could see on the seafront and in the Old Steine. For the first time ever, the seafront cycle lane will connect to Lewes Road, while pedestrians will have direct and attractive crossings and enhanced public spaces. We’re particularly pleased that the promenade west of the Palace Pier will be significantly widened to ease congestion in this area (see picture above taken on a cold winter’s day). Buses will also be better accommodated with a new southbound bus lane and stops. The public consultation showed strong support for the improvements and it’s right that they should now be implemented.

While some people are still unhappy, we believe many of their concerns are unfounded or exaggerated. For the last 30 years Brighton tourism bosses have predicted the demise of the economy every time some minor restriction on cars was made, yet the city remains in rude health. On air quality, the scheme shouldn’t increase pollution overall, while congestion is unlikely to be significantly worse than it currently is.

Quite simply we cannot afford to keep the Aquarium roundabout and current road layout. Other cities are creating new and exciting public spaces and if Brighton doesn’t do the same it will lose out in the longer term. At the same time, health bodies have long called for these sorts of improvements to address the huge impact that obesity is placing on society and the NHS. We need to change the way we move around the city, both for our health and the economy, and this project will help kick-start that change.

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Last week West Sussex County Council wrote to a number of objectors to its proposals to dual the A2300 (between the A23 and Burgess Hill).  It has replied to us but provided no real reassurance it knows or cares what it’s doing.  For example, it has claimed in a letter to Bricycles, the Brighton & Hove Cycle Campaign group, that: “Any form of controlled crossings such as toucan or Pegasus crossings will have negative impact of the business case and put funding of the scheme in jeopardy.”  This tells us one of three things:

  1. The business case for the road is so weak it will be undermined if they slow traffic down to allow pedestrians and cyclists safe passage through the area (across the new road and its junctions).
  2. They haven’t a clue as to the needs of pedestrians and cyclists, if they think uncontrolled crossings are any form of benefit to them
  3. They just don’t care

What is worse is that WSCC cannot claim it doesn’t know that walking and cycling are important and bring many benefits.  Late last year, the Government reiterated their importance and said that it wanted to see local highways authorities spending around 15% of their transport infrastructure funding on walking and cycling.

More recently, this year the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a new draft quality standard where it proposed that: “New and upgraded roads should prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and public transport over motorised vehicles”.  This is out of concern that lack of physical exercise is ruining people’s quality of life and placing an unnecessary and expensive burden on the NHS.

Watch this space for more updates but if you live in West Sussex or use the roads in the area, then we would encourage you to lobby the County Council to start getting serious with its provision for pedestrians and cyclists.

These files are our original objection, WSCC’s response and our reply to their response

bhfoe original a2300 response

wscc a2300 letter to bhfoe

bhfoe a2300 reply to wscc

 

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Scientists now predict that by the middle of the century our oceans will contain more plastic waste than fish, ton for ton.

Let’s do something about it.

Ask Brighton and Hove MPs to back a Plastic Pollution Action Plan.

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rubbish_webOur petition calling on the council to drastically improve recycling facilities on the seafront has now gathered over 600 signatures.

You can help the campaign by adding your name and sharing the petition with friends and family.

Can you help us reach 1,000 signatures?

 

 

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Unfortunately. all the places to see A Plastic Ocean on 6 November have all been taken.

We expect some cancellations so if you’d like to go on the waiting list please send an email to bandhfoe@gmail.com and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

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On 6 November we’re showing ‘A Plastic Ocean’; a fascinating documentary about the truth of plastic pollution in our seas and oceans.

Free entry but book your place before they’ve all gone.

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A PLASTIC OCEAN begins when journalist Craig Leeson, searching for the elusive blue whale, discovers plastic waste in what should be pristine ocean.

Join Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth at St Augustine’s for a screening of this adventure documentary, as Craig teams up with free diver Tanya Streeter and an international team of scientists and researchers to travel to 20 locations around the world. Together they explore the fragile state of our oceans, uncover alarming truths about plastic pollution, and reveal working solutions that can be put into immediate effect.

Book your place.

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