Pic: Brighton and Hove bus
Radical proposals to tackle stubborn pollution hotspots in Brighton city centre were given cross-party backing at a committee meeting yesterday (14th January).
While the majority of the city has seen significant improvements in air quality, stubborn pollution hotspots on North Street and near the Clock Tower haven’t followed suit.
Since a request by the Green administration last year, council officers have been working on a ‘Low Emission Zone’ for the city centre. Low Emission Zones regulate vehicles entering a particular area, and in the Brighton plan this would mainly apply to regular bus services, which make up the bulk of frequent traffic passing through the city centre.
Councillor Pete West, Chair of Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee said: “There have been welcome improvements in air quality across the city thanks to more residents choosing to walk, cycle and take public transport. However the city centre corridor needed serious work to make it safer, after years of neglect by previous administrations.
“We’re pleased that our work with the bus companies will help clean up our air for all who visit, work, and shop on these streets.
“Our great bus network already improves the city’s air quality by reducing the number of private vehicles that would otherwise be travelling on our streets. It’s great to see bus companies doing even more to help reduce emissions – something we’d like to help other organisations and individuals do too.”
- The Brighton ‘low emission zone’ will include Castle Square, North Street, and the portion of Western Road east of the junction with Holland Road.
- Buses regularly entering the zone would be required to meet ‘Euro 5’ international engine standards, and the council would issue licenses any permitted exemptions. Buses that have been retrofitted, that enter the zone fewer than 25 times a week, temporary replacement buses, and those that are due to be replaced within the next year would all be exempt.
- Over 95% of the city’s buses pass through North Street and/or Western Road, so cleaner buses will improve air quality across the city, not just in the Low Emissions Zone itself.
- Brighton & Hove Buses “has 13 hybrid buses, and thanks to a joint bid with the council, is the recipient of government funding to retrofit more buses with cleaner technology.
For more information please contact the Brighton and Hove Green Party office on 01273 766 670.