Brighton & Hove has been named City of the Year in the 2014 CIVITAS Awards, for its policies to promote sustainable transport.
The title is presented each year to the city which best demonstrates implementation of ambitious sustainable transport policies. The judging criteria include active involvement of local people, overcoming challenges, and helping to meet CIVITAS’ goals on cleaner, better transport in European cities.
Brighton & Hove City Council performed well with its policies to promote cycling and bus travel, as well as offering schools, businesses and residents advice on smarter transport choices with “personal travel planning”.
Bus initiatives include electronic real-time boards at bus stops linked to satellite tracking which show exactly when the bus will arrive, plus smartcard and smartphone ticketing,
Improved cycle infrastructure includes reconfiguring dangerous junctions and a ‘floating’ bus stop which prevents buses having to cross the path of bikes (see pic above). The council has also promoted cycle priority and ‘head-start’ lights for bikes at junctions, and built cycle lanes to segregate bikes from fast traffic on main routes.
With regard to public engagement, the council consulted almost 85,000 people on its roll-out of 20mph speed limits; and 70,000 people have been offered advice on personal travel planning since 2006.
The council says there has been continued growth of bus travel, with 46.4 million passenger journeys being made annually, and the number of people cycling to work has doubled in the past decade. Road safety has also improved with a “yearly decline in the number and severity of accidents”.
Ian Davey, lead councillor for transport, said: “These award-winning initiatives are not novel to Brighton & Hove – instead they represent best practice all across Europe. However the difference we have made is in actually delivering best practice in Brighton & Hove, instead of the city lagging behind Britain and Europe.
“It’s immensely satisfying to have this recognised by a judging panel of renowned transport experts from the UK and abroad – and to have it recognised that we have involved huge numbers of residents in these decisions.”
The 2014 Civitas Awards were presented in Casablanca on 26 September.