With ideas for helping the planet and increasing the revenue from tourism among the key factors in Brighton’s immediate future, the suggestion of tougher traffic laws has met with a mixed reception. Where does this plan come from and what effect might it have?
The Plans Being Discussed
This idea that has been raised is a way of giving Brighton a more livable city centre by keeping out polluting vehicles. It could be similar to the approach in London, with a charge made for entering the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) in vehicles. In the capital, a ULEZ scheme of this type operates 24/7, charges £12.50 for each vehicle that doesn’t meet the emissions standard and is only removed on Christmas Day.
Yet, the worry is that a charge of this type will force residents and visitors to go elsewhere, with the cost of parking in Brighton city centre already a controversial issue. This could have a detrimental effect on local businesses by reducing the number of potential clients in the area.
In terms of tourists, last year’s Friendship Pact between Brighton and Santa Monica in the US could help to bring in greater numbers of American visitors. Yet, anyone travelling to the UK needs to take into account various factors before deciding where it makes economic sense to visit the country. For example, the U.S. Dollar Index, aka DXY , shows us the strength of American currency against other major currencies such as the British pound and the euro, and is used by investors who look to predict in which way it will move. This index rises when the dollar gains ground against the other currencies and as well as its use for traders this could have an effect on how attractive travel to Brighton is financially, with extra charges like a ULEZ fee potentially tipping the balance for some American tourists when the dollar is weak.
What Are the Positives?
Of course, the reason this plan has been proposed is to reduce the damage done to the environment by vehicles with high emission levels. By making people pay to enter if they don’t meet the criteria, it gives an incentive to find methods of transport that are friendlier to the planet. However, not everyone is going to be able to do that, and this is where problems can arise.
Perhaps this initiative would work best if implemented as part of a series of eco-friendly moves across the city. For this reason, we need to look further and find out what else could be changed in Brighton to help make the ULEZ a success. Brighton is already widely regarded as being arguably the UK’s greenest city, and this BBC report from 2022 points out the fantastic work done in projects to ensure that it’s got a sustainable food policy while helping to fight food poverty.
Looking at this matter in light of other environmental projects going on right now, it becomes easier to see how it might work as part of an overall effort to keep Brighton at the forefront of the battle to help the planet. There’s still a lot of work to be done on the details, but the idea is now out there and it’ll be interesting to see where it leads.