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Posts Tagged ‘Brighton’

Copy of a letter sent to the Argus (and published 7 June) regarding the ‘news’ that congestion had got fractionally worse last year as measured by TomTom (Argus, 4 June).

Dear Editor,

Seeking free-flowing urban traffic conditions is like searching for the holy grail.  The hard truth is that every urban area suffers from congestion and it’s not going away.  The fact that it’s got fractionally worse in Brighton is hardly news (Argus, 4 June), given the number of large schemes built last year plus emergency repairs to North Street and elsewhere.  In fact it’s surprising that congestion wasn’t worse in the circumstances.

Your editorial (Argus, 4 June) was also mistaken to talk of typical commuters and to quote the Government’s traffic forecasts.  Firstly in Brighton & Hove there are no typical commuters as a lot of people walk, cycle and catch a bus or train as well as drive a car.  Secondly, it is unlikely that traffic levels will rise by 40% within the city.  This figure is based on a Department for Transport model which does not work well for urban areas and in any case nearly always overestimates traffic levels.

Within the city, the key thing is giving people access to the goods and services they need.  This does not always have to be done by car.  Indeed, in tight urban spaces, cars are one of the least efficient ways of moving large numbers of people as they take up so much space for the numbers they transport.  Buses are for more efficient, while walking and cycling are far more flexible and often quicker for short journeys.

One of the biggest threats to urban congestion, ironically, could come from Government’s roadbuilding plans.  Not only will upgrading the A27 scar the National Park, it will encourage more people to drive in and out of Brighton, rather than use public transport.  That will drive up congestion and pollution offsetting any quicker journey times on the A27 itself.

Finally, the article says that a car commuter will spend around 4 months of their lives stationary in traffic.  Yet this is nothing compared to the fact that in the city around 115 people are estimated to die each year due to air pollution.  Somehow I don’t think we’ve got our priorities quite right.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Todd

Planning & Transport Campaigner

Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth

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Fracking-Meeting-Poster-Web

Friends of the Earth Brighton & Hove are organising a public meeting to discuss fracking and the controversial topic of shale gas exploration. Speakers include Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, expert on toxics and contamination and advisor to the anti-fracking movement in Australia, Cllr Tony Janio, opposition spokesman on Environment & Sustainability, Brighton & Hove City Council, making the case for fracking and Howard Johns, founder of Southern Solar and expert in local energy solutions.

We’re inviting members of the public to come along and share their views on fracking.


Wednesay 15 May, 7.30pm
(doors open 7pm, teas and coffees will be available), Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AF

Join the Facebook event

Read more about Fracking

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BHFOE at bee bankThe creation of a new haven for bees began in January with a lot of hard work by volunteers from Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth (BHFOE) and Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods (FHBW).  Members from both groups lopped, sawed, dug and raked their way through the overgrown south facing bank in Hollingbury Woods to expose bare soil which some solitary bees love.

The site is one of 60 Jubilee ‘Bee Worlds’ springing up around the country as part of Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause campaign.  The group are calling on the government to take bolder action to protect threatened bees in the UK.  More about the campaign can be found on Friends of the Earth’s website.

Monica Jennings, a member of BHFOE, said:

“We had great fun making this area a place that bees can call home. It may look like just a bare patch of soil but we will be doing more to attract solitary bees which are in decline. If anyone wants to help us please get in touch.”

90% of all bees are solitary and unlike honeybees and bumblebees, don’t live in colonies.  Like these other bees they are also important crop pollinators.  The UK has some 250 species of solitary bee, whereas we have only 24 species of bumblebees and one species of honeybee. Amongst the most common solitary bees in the UK are red mason bees, leafcutter bees and mining bees.

Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods is a group of volunteers who run work sessions once a month to look after these woods close to Fiveways / Ditchling Road.  See their website or Facebook page for more info.

For other info on BHFOE see our Facebook page.

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