Thursday, 24 July 2014

“Carbie” - new word for car dependent person

Neologism. Sounds like ‘Newbie.’ Associated sounds: carbs, short for carbohydrates – q.v. obesity.  Sometimes used as shorthand for carburettor. Carbie. You read it here first.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Brighton’s Valley Gardens scheme moves a step closer

It has been announced that recently allocated Local Sustainable Transport Fund money will enable further development work to be carried out on Brighton’s Valley Gardens project, enabling the full scheme to be planned along the A23 between St Peter’s Church and the Aquarium (Brighton Pier) roundabout. The design of the scheme means that most through traffic will move to the east side of the gardens with buses only on the west side by the Pavilion. This should make it easier for people to access the underused green spaces in between, creating a linear park effect and a more attractive entrance to the city.

Outside Brighton University: LH picture as is; RH picture, as planned

before and after

Spot the difference (below): LH picture shows Pavilion Gardens (off the shared space of New Road). RH picture shows Valley Gardens (encircled by traffic)

Spot the difference

The very comprehensive and informative draft Business Case for the scheme, which is included in the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership’s Strategic Economic Plan, and from which these photos were taken, shows the proposed layout design and associated movements. Bring it on!

valley gardens after

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Seen on a walk: Medway

P7045268 B Twk Spotted on the Saxon Shore Way, a long distance footpath from Hastings to Gravesend that, as the name implies, follows the historical shoreline. This sign emphasizes the links between good public footpaths and walking as a form of healthy exercise – walk4life. It’s great to see that Medway Council really gets it – and as a result, is doing a better job of looking after, and signposting, their footpaths than some of the other local authorities along the Saxon Shore Way.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Seen on a walk: Faversham, Kent


P7035226 Twk 

Seen near Faversham railway station, this amusingly-named narrow pedestrian alley - which you probably wouldn’t see from a car, and definitely couldn’t drive along.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Overheard on a bus

“When they went to scatter his ashes, most of it ended up on their shoes.”

Friday, 27 June 2014

Living Streets Supporters’ Conference 2014

Last weekend Living Streets held its annual supporters’ conference. This was the swansong for departing chief executive Tony Armstrong, who has been head honcho at the organisation for over seven years. As well as a set of workshops, there was a panel session with various London transport luminaries including Caroline Pidgeon, and Baroness Jenny Jones (of Moulsecoomb [Brighton!!]).

Best bits of the day? A walk around Kings Cross, which highlighted some of the best features of this rapidly changing area - pedestrian prioritising - with some of the worst - the manic traffic of the notorious gyratory.

John Whitelegg LS 2014

Plus the keynote address by Prof John Whitelegg, a leading transport academic and a former councillor. His experience has lead him to conclude that, despite all the evidence, UK transport policy has very little connection with rationality. With all that this means for pollution, noise, carbon emissions, obesity, health, inactivity, deaths, injuries and quality of life. His presentation is available here .

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Report of the Week

Healthy Living Coalition
It seems that barely a week goes by without some august body producing a report full of evidence supporting the case for more exercise, less car dependency and more “active travel” – which doesn’t mean going on long walks, or lengthy cycle rides, but simply building more activity into our lives. Which can even mean the walk to the bus stop.

But despite the ever-growing piles of evidence, and the declarations of support from politicians for “evidence-based policy,” most of the talk is lip service, the reports get filed, and progress is minimal. To add to the long line of reports already on the shelf, here’s one produced by the Active Transport for Healthy Living Coalition, ten organisations ranging from Sustrans to the Association of Directors of Public Health. Full of good stuff, but don’t hold your breath….