At the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee meeting on Tuesday 29th September, Labour gained support for an amendment that called for a pause on further emergency transport measures to allow for meaningful consultation, so local residents can have their say and influence the next round of changes.
Labour are actively interested in engaging with disability groups, local resident groups and other interested stakeholders, and we believe if used effectively, a short pause to transport changes will allow residents to make their voices heard and contribute to the process.
When we oversaw the first round of emergency transport measures, we were under extreme time pressure as the government instructed councils to act ‘within weeks’ to create more space for walking and cycling on our roads, such as temporary cycle lanes, wider pavements and school streets.
As we approach the next round of changes, we now have time to ensure all road users can have a greater say on the next round of emergency transport measures, which will be implemented to safeguard social distancing and safe, active travel during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We want people to be able to influence how our roads are used, and we must take this opportunity to consult and listen.
We are mindful of not losing government funding, so we have set out a reasonable timeframe of no less than 6 weeks for meaningful consultation. We are pleased that the Green administration supported our calls and have agreed to our reasonable calls for greater consultation.
COVID-19 has not gone away, there’s no doubt further emergency measures are required for us all to move around safely, but we must not rush things through without giving our residents a chance to have their say. We want to hear from you, we will listen, and we expect the council to respond.
Labour are conscious these are temporary, emergency COVID-19 response measures that will be held under constant review.
We expect the pause to be used wisely, and we expect the administration to take on board the feedback of the residents we serve.
Looking to the future, Labour want to see Brighton & Hove become a leading health and wellbeing hub for active travel, hence our work on the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, our implementation of Valley Gardens works, and setting up the city’s first climate assembly – this work will require the active engagement of all residents.