the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects
Crime
reduction
 


Inward
investment
information
 


Licensee
Forum
 

Workforce development 

Transport
 

Business &
climate
change

Property &
Development sites

Business
Improvement
Districts

Housing
 

Strategy
 

Consultation opportunities
 

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton
business.co.uk

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 24 December 2005
It works for Norwich, why not for Brighton?

Letter to the Argus

The Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership responds to the page 8 article - Space to Breathe - in today's Argus newspaper by Chris Todd of Friends of the Earth

24th December 2004

RESPONSE TO ARTICLE – 'SPACE TO BREATHE' Argus 24.12.05

I like Chris Todd. I think he has some interesting ideas and he is always knowledgeable and challenging in debate but I am confused by his comment (Argus 24.12.05) that the Council “failed to bring forward specific proposals to be implemented alongside” their park and ride plans (at Patcham Court Farm), which were rejected on December 7th.

As a member of the LSP’s transport sub-committee, and one of the few people that has read the Local Transport Plan cover-to-cover, he knows better than anyone that the park and ride was part of a much bigger transport vision. A vision that includes a £20m rapid transit system, increased real-time bus information displays, £3m of expenditure on improved cycling facilities, better coach facilities and the employment of a staff travel plan coordinator to name but a few of the things that the Labour group on the local authority are proposing.

He also talks a lot about the need to reduce car parking spaces in the city and cites the schemes that are adding to our stock e.g. Marina and King Alfred, without mentioning the 1000 city centre spaces we have already lost or the fact that under planning law these two schemes could have legitimately sought permission for 1,744 residential car parking spaces instead of the 481 included in their applications.

The reason for the drastically reduced numbers was because both developers support the Council’s basic tenet of discouraging car use. Such support was a contributory factor to the Marina application being turned down because one of the criticisms levelled against it by a member of the planning committee was insufficient car parking!

His assertion that an extra 1000 park and ride spaces on the outskirts of town would just free up 1000 in town which would immediately be seized upon by more car drivers and result in even more traffic is also flawed. It would be the case if our city centre car parks operated at capacity all the time but in fact, on average they operate at just 77% of capacity. At any one time there are just under 1000 spaces sitting empty. They sit empty because people are reluctant to spend an hour or two sitting in a queue to access them.

He is quite right of course that the best way to avoid that queue is to leave the car at home and get a bus or train or walk or cycle. But we can’t force people to do this. If drivers are reluctant to give up their cars entirely, the next best thing is to get them to leave them outside the city and get a (park & ride) bus. The most polluting part of their journey by car would be from Mill Road roundabout to the city centre.

Perhaps we should just say that we don’t want people to come to the city if they aren’t going to play by our rules, one of which is they get the bus or the train. This would require a fall-back economic strategy for the possible consequences of dictating to people how they come to Brighton because many will simply stop coming. Great swathes of the ‘Brighton experience’ enjoyed by its quarter million residents rely on the support of eight million visitors to survive. The seafront with its artist’s galleries, open air sports facilities, cafes and trendy bars, the North Laine with its eclectic shops, the choice of more restaurants in the city than anywhere else in the country (outside London), the world famous Lanes, the cultural offer of the Theatre Royal and the Dome, the Pride parade and all the other events – they all ride on the back of eight million people that choose to come here and give us their cash and employ nearly a fifth of our workforce.

The fact that they choose to come here is the bit that Chris does not feed into his utopian transport policy. They choose to come and they choose the means by which they will do it and if we make their preferred choice too difficult they will choose to go elsewhere.

There is a suggestion that a pleasanter environment, less traffic more pedestrianisation perhaps, would attract more people to the city and compensate for the possible loss of the car driver. But in truth the cities that have managed this metamorphosis have not done so at the expense of the car - they are the very cities that have embraced park and ride in the knowledge that you can’t dictate to people how they will get from a to b. You can only offer realistic alternatives and hope that people will embrace them.

I agree with all of Chris’s suggestions to improve transport in the city but alone they are just not realistically going to deliver the 8 million people we need keep this city afloat and consequently we will continue to lobby for park and ride.

Tony Mernagh Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership 8-11 Pavilion Buildings Brighton BN1 1EE

To view a copy of the article from The Argus (pdf  file 1.2 MB) click on download below

Click here to download Space to Breathe


Read related items on:
Park & Ride
Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership
Todd, Chris
Patcham Court Farm
Brighton Marina
King Alfred
Braypool


Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


Headlines

23 May 2018
Gingerman Restaurant Group to Open Restaurant at Hanningtons Estate Brighton
16 May 2018
Can you help us help rough sleepers? Search for a venue to provide shelter 15 May 2018
New Research Reveals Cost of Opening A Business in Brighton: £6,000 11 May 2018
Tech firm SaleCycle to open new office in Brighton, creating 30+ new jobs 4 May 2018
Get involved - National Numeracy Day This 16 May 1 May 2018
BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT INDUSTRY CELEBRATES 300 BIDS 1 May 2018
Barclays' High Growth & Entrepreneurs Awards 2018 launch to celebrate start-up leaders in the UK 30 April 2018
Barclays launches major drive to help SMEs tackle Cymbercrime 24 April 2018
An evening with Chris Fox, Lib Dem Peer 24 April 2018
"A triumph of innovation" 13 April 2018
Brighton city Centre Vacancy Rates continue to buck national trend 12 April 2018
The Ivy in the Lanes Set to open 2 May 2018 11 April 2018
Free Dr Bike Service Returns 20 March 2018
Brighton named most entrepreneurial city AND second best for student happiness according to Fresh Student Living 19 March 2018
A Meeting with Chris Fox, Lib Dem Peer - Why Business Matters 14 March 2018
Better Business for All Event with BEIS 7 March 2018
Brighton celebrates women in tech as Spring Forward festival returns for a fourth year 6 March 2018
Six months of success for BTN BikeShare 2 March 2018
Sustainability in Action masterclasses for Sussex businesses 2 March 2018
Doing Business in China comes to Brighton 1 March 2018
Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce presents: Protecting your brand- a guide for fast growth businesses 1 March 2018
Long haul passengers boost local economy and jobs, according to new Gatwick report on the 'Visitor Economy' 28 February 2018
Save time reporting crime 27 February 2018
Warren Morgan Resigns from Brighton & Hove City Council 23 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company, Paxton Ranks in Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 23 February 2018
Greater Brighton's Commercial Property Database 22 February 2018
SE-ASSIST - Launch of Loan Capital in Greater Brighton 19 February 2018
House Price update Q4 2017 19 February 2018
What would you do in a crisis? 19 February 2018
The investment journey for high growth entrepreneurs 9 February 2018
Make Change Count 2018 - helping rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove 8 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company Paxton Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Programmein Association with the University of Brighton 8 February 2018
Cyber London Accelerator Invites Summer 2018 Entries 8 February 2018
Innovate UK Launches Strand 2 Emerging and Enabling Technologies Sector Competition 8 February 2018
Success In Sussex As Food And Drink Heroes Crowned Winners 8 February 2018
UK Games Fund - Fourth Round Open to Applications 8 February 2018
Innovate UK & Prince's Trust Launch Young Innovators' Programme 6 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership launches 'Kit Out The Kitchen' crowdfunding campaign 2 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Council and Crest Nicholson win £15m government funding to kickstart King Alfred project 1 February 2018
Could a Utilise Plus Programme grant help you?