From: Paul Humphreys
Even though the Government is very keen to get people out of their cars, there is no real effort to do this in Eastbourne.
Local politicians just seem scared to support anything that might threaten car drivers.
Let’s look at what could be in a campaign to make alternatives to car journeys a possibility.
Firstly the county council have repeatedly warned that congestion will be an increasing problem in the town.
Without alternatives it will take 70 per cent longer, in 10 years time at peak times.
This will be significantly improved if 10 per cent of these car journeys shifted to buses, foot or cycles.
There is no more space for main roads and new housing estates will only create more traffic.
As the saying goes “a town designed around cars fails everyone including car drivers”.
Then there is the issue of health.
Research, from one of the consultants at East Sussex Healthcare, shows that there would be around a 30 per cent reduction in many conditions such as diabetes, mental health and cardio vascular disease if people would exercise more.
One easy way to do this is to use “active travel” options. Anything that gets people exercising should be encouraged.
We are currently facing an epidemic of overweight and unhealthy people.
One problem will be with today’s school children who need to learn good habits while they are young.
Cars create pollution.
Each year in the UK, around 40,000 deaths are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution which plays a role in many of the major health challenges of our day.
It has been linked to cancer, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia.
Locally, 61 people a year in Eastbourne die, due to particulate air pollution.
So you may ask where has car use been reduced and one answer is Brighton.
Over the last 15 years, car use there has reduced by three per cent, but pedestrian, bus and cycle numbers have increased significantly.
It just needs Eastbourne to have this kind of vision.
Without it we are inevitably heading for a congested and unhealthy town.