Planning – Your chance to comment on transport across the region

Transport for the South East (TfSE) has gone out to public consultation on their draft Strategic Investment Plan. It closes on 12 September 2022.

This is your opportunity to comment on the long term transport plans for the South East. A plan that has a ‘golden thread’ from the Government to East Sussex and which they hope will deliver decarbonisation, multi-modal solutions and a world class transport network. It is partly designed around increased growth and supporting businesses and it is worth highlighting it is for 2050. So if you are committed to the 2030 Eastbourne target, then this will not meet it, nor is it intended to. Your comments will have to reflect this.

Alongside East Sussex County Council (ESCC) will be starting on their Local Transport Plan (version 4). It is assumed that this will have similar themes. As in the past it is likely to end up as ‘Business as Usual’ but with the odd tweak.

Here are some extracts from the TfSE plan you might wish to consider

• Designed to deliver a faster trajectory towards net-zero than current trends, including rapid adoption of zero- emission technologies
• Deliver world class and seamlessly-integrated,sustainable urban transport systems (rail, bus,tram, ferry, cycling and walking)
• Great potential for new mobility (e.g. electric bikes and scooters) to boost active travel in the South East.
• Multi-modal and integrated

Carbon emissions are only ‘tailpipe’, also known as ‘Tank to Wheel’. This is the same methodology that is used for Local Authority carbon footprints. So an Electric Vehicle has a zero footprint the same as a pedestrian. It does not include the generation/mining of the power or its transport, the manufacture and disposal of vehicles and any indirect carbon used.

The TfSE Carbon Assessment report from 2020 admits “Even with considerably higher estimates for conversion to electric (a proxy for all zero emission technologies), “electrification” is insufficient in itself to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.

Their ‘Scenario Forecasting Summary Report’ compared Business as Usual to a Growth scenario. However this was written in 2019 and the closest to the current scenario, following Covid, is their digital scenario.

The most significant feature is cars stay the same, an increase in Public Transport and the reduction in walking and cycling (down 17%). In terms of the obesity epidemic and general health this is going in the wrong direction

Current Transport Planning in East Sussex

Most of the carbon neutral agenda for transport comes from the Government though TfSE is in a position to influence some schemes. However it is worth remembering that recent consultations , such as the A22 roundabouts (£40M) had predictions of 25% more traffic by 2039. To a large extent planning will still be based on
• Predict more cars
• Plan for more cars
• Provide for more cars

Comments you might wish to mention on your submission

*Specify actual targets for a modal shift away from private vehicles
*Not always think that the best solution is just ‘one more lane’ . This often creates induced demand
*Priority given to low carbon vehicles and way from the combustion engine. Partly covered by the 2030 petrol and diesel ban.
*Road space and priority should be re-allocated
*Commitment to better, greener and more frequent bus and train services
*Priority given to active travel to reduce congestion, increase exercise and reduce the obesity epidemic
*Bias in favour of new solutions, with lower carbon footprints, such as micro-mobility
*Strategy for freight around the ‘last mile’ and use of hubs to reduce inefficiencies

Author Paul Humphreys – Cycle East Sussex + Bespoke and Eco Action (Transport Group)

The Eastbourne Climate Coalition is creating a new buzz in town

The Eastbourne Eco Action Network is collaborating with the Eastbourne Climate Coalition to curate and manage an ambitious programme of community-run events in the E-Hive Marquee in Princes Park during the E-Festival on Eastbourne’s seafront that runs from July 29th to 31st. All the events in the E-Hive Marquee will be free to the public and are all organised by volunteers, showcasing what local people are doing – or could do – to help save our planet as a viable home for humanity. For example, there’ll be an Eco Fashion Show with local people modelling their beautifully upcycled/recycled clothes, with a guest appearance from a local seamstress who featured on the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee. There’ll also be a Sussex flower grower, who was a CPRE Countryside Award Winner in 2020, talking about how cut flowers flown in from abroad have a huge carbon footprint and why it’s best to buy sustainably grown British flowers.

The E-Hive Marquee will be open from 11am to 6pm on each of the three days of the festival, requiring many volunteers to ensure that the events within the marquee run smoothly. If you’d like to volunteer, please email:

But what is the Eastbourne Climate Coalition? The most recent conference of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel, on Climate Change, COP26, took place in Glasgow in November 2021. During that momentous event there were innumerable rallies and demonstrations throughout the world organised by civic groups determined to send a message to governments everywhere that urgent action is needed to avert the threat of catastrophic climate change. Eastbourne was no exception, as a large march and rally in the town was organised by the Eastbourne COP26 Coalition, co-ordinating a wide range of local organisations together under one banner to demand urgent climate action.

Since then, the Eastbourne COP26 Coalition has morphed into the Eastbourne Climate Coalition (ECC) and now has a membership of over 40 local organisations, and later articles in this column will showcase some of those organisations, such as Bespoke and Just Stop Oil. The ECC is following up on COP26 with a project to create Eastbourne’s very own Climate Emergency Centre, a hub for climate action where local people and community groups can gather to collaborate on climate-related issues in the local area and beyond. The ECC has recently completed a successful crowdfunding appeal to raise its first pot of funds for the Climate Hub project and is busy searching for suitable premises in central Eastbourne. But the ECC is not waiting for premises before engaging with local people about climate action. Hence its involvement with the E-Hive Marquee, which is in effect a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the kinds of activities that can take place in a local Climate Hub.

COP26 revealed how far the world still has to go to prevent climate breakdown, and Eastbourne is very much in the front line of climate change, especially as regards the increased flooding risks that are a consequence of the rising sea levels and stronger storm surges of a rapidly warming world. The climate news may seem grim, but the good news is that pretty much all the actions needed to alleviate the climate crisis have a huge range of co-benefits that actually make life easier, cleaner, healthier, safer, and ultimately happier – such as cleaner air and water, better walking and cycling infrastructure, more urban trees to provide cool shade in heatwaves, more wildlife returning to the countryside, and so on.

Moreover, just engaging in climate actions can be fun too, as the events in the E-Hive will demonstrate, with songs, music, dance, creative workshops, poetry, fashion shows, and much more. Yes, the Eastbourne Climate Coalition is buzzing around town, as you can discover for yourself when you fly into the E-Hive Marquee and see what’s pollinating there!