Time for a transport u-turn…

Travel Posted 03/10/18
CPRE Sussex is backing the launch of a new transport vision for the South East which calls for a move away from 'knee-jerk' road building.

A vision to improve travel and quality of life without building expensive new roads along the South Coast is being launched in Sussex on Friday 5 October.

A New Direction – which will be sent to decision makers across the region – calls for a more inclusive and integrated approach to transport.

The briefing report is based on research commissioned by umbrella group the South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment (SCATE).

SCATE is asking decision makers to look at smarter solutions that work for everyone, in particular the young, old and disabled – not just people with access to a car.

SCATE chair Henri Brocklebank said: “The evidence presented in this report demands that new road-building schemes in the region are measured against a series of realistic and meaningful issues.

“Road building as a knee-jerk response to congestion is an outdated approach.

“SCATE is proud to share this evidence with the region’s decision makers.”

Independent research commissioned by SCATE showed road building was not the key to economic growth.

Increased road capacity generated more traffic, leading to further congestion and poor air quality.

SCATE believes a coordinated rethink could ease congestion in the county and cut car use by more than 10 per cent.

The Sussex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England is one of several organisations supporting the report’s launch.

“This is new thinking for new times,” said CPRE Sussex chairman David Johnson.

“We all need to get about. This means making different forms of transport work together, not just demanding more roads.

“Our integrated transport vision for Sussex offers a new approach to help town and country along our beautiful coast.”

The wide range of measures proposed in the report include enhanced rail and public transport opportunities and improved facilities for cycling and walking.

The report highlights that new technology has the potential to change the way transport is provided and used and recognises new homes and jobs need to be provided in locations served by enhanced public transport and attractive walking and cycling connections.

This balanced approach could help solve the well-known problems surrounding the A27 and support sustainable economic growth without the negative impact of extensive new road building.

Brenda Pollack, South East campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Now is a good time to take stock and review the approach to transport provision on the Sussex coast.

“There is a lot of uncertainty about how new technologies are changing people’s behaviour.

“Transport policies based on past travel trends are out of date.

“The vision we set out seeks to create a healthier, wealthier, cleaner and more sustainable region.”

A New Direction is available online

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