Chichester Post: West Sussex County Councillors Unenthusiastic.

Cars on North St

The Chichester Post has published a story about the (5th Feb Local Committee meeting) County Councils reception on the ideas about a car free day within the City walls of Chichester,

It explains that “Mr Record said after the meeting: “I felt disappointed that our county councillors were unenthusiastic about staging a small scale event in the city on Sunday, September 22, on International Car Free Day 2019.”

You may read the full article by following this link Doubt over car-free day in walls

I contacted the post shortly after the meeting and sent then the following by email.

On Monday 21st January, Chichester City Council decided that a car free day should be trialed for 1 day in the city as an experiment. Unfortunatly, it now apears such an event is unlikly to take place.

At the 5th Feb Local Committee meeting, I felt disappointed that  our West Sussex County Councilors were unenthusiastic about staging a small scale event in the city this Sunday 22nd of September on International Car Free Day 2019.

By promoting sustainable forms of transport in Chichester I believe we can achieve many positive outcomes: The city can enjoy reduced congestion from heavy traffic making it a more welcoming environment for tourists, shoppers and residents alike; Toxic vehicle fumes will be reduced leading to better health in our community. Local people can enjoy a better quality of life from the benefits of healthy exercise. We could locally achieve the required eight percent annual reduction in our CO2 emissions needed to avert catastrophic global climate change. Space in our city, currently occupied by motor vehicles, could be better used for commerce, community and culture.

My motivation for proposing a car free event in Chichester city center is comcern about the destruction of our global enviroment.

The IPCC October 2018 special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C gives a clear warning that all of humanity must immediately move away from fossil fuel dependency if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. They explained it is imperative we become a carbon neutral society within the next 12 years.

The Government Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy estimate that 26% of UK carbon dioxide emissions are now caused by transport. This currently makes transport the biggest emitting sector of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.

Because Chichester District Council is concerned over the loss of parking revenue due to a Car Free Day, I proposed only a small event at the meeting where our pedestrian precinct could be extended along the full extent of both North St. and East St. for only one day this year. I have calculated that the loss of parking revenue could not be greater than £2000 and I would be prepared to pay this amount of money from my own pocket if it allowed such an event to go ahead in our city.

I can find nothing published by our local authorities on how they intend meeting the United Nations IPCC guidelines to avoid global catastrophic climate change and I am deeply concerned that as a community we are not prepared to close a couple of streets in the city even as a small symbolic gesture on International Car Free Day.

Our green city councillor Sarah Sharp has been active asking businesses around the city about their feelings towards a car free day in the city. She has found a wide range of opinions varying from strong enthusiasm to ambivilance. What is remarkable is that no business has yet expressed oposition to the idea.

A local group of over 70 people (and growing) have already come together to suport Car Free Days in Chichester and set up a website Our next meeting is on February 25, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm at the Park Tavern in Chichester and anyone suporting Chichester car free days is welcome to join us.

Many thanks

Mark Record

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