Electric cars to get free travel over Southampton's Itchen Bridge
TOLLS on Southampton's busy Itchen Bridge are set to be scrapped as early as the summer for electric vehicles in a bid to reduce pollution in the city. But campaigners say this is not enough, suggesting a pedestrianised city centre is the only way Southampton can battle its air quality problem. Under proposals revealed at the end of last year, environmental chiefs said they plan to introduce a new toll category for eco-friendly motorists, allowing them to cross the pay-per-use bridge for free. The move could save the average daily commuter around £250 per year. But now Cllr Chris Hammond, Southampton City Council cabinet member for sustainable living, has confirmed the initiative will come into play in just a few months. While revealing the city’s 30 new electric charging points, he said: “Later this summer, we’re looking to introduce free passage for electric vehicles on the Itchen Bridge.” Adding: “The scheme is about encouraging local people to adopt electric vehicles. “Currently, it costs more to buy electric cars so this will give a little bit of discount to those who have taken the step and also use the bridge. “It is part of a package of things the city council is doing to increase the uptake of electric vehicles.” But Liz Batten, of Clean Air Southampton, wants the council to take even more drastic action and introduce vehicle-free days in the city. “The city council is putting forward a number of measure to help people thinking about getting electric vehicles, which is good,” she said. “And although the number of electric vehicles is to be welcomed, it is the overall picture that I always look at. “Removing cars and vehicles from the city centre is the next step. A number of other cities (such as Birmingham) are doing it and I think Southampton should follow suit, maybe just a few days a week or on certain days in the year. “I think it will help transform the area – especially Old Southampton – into the tourist attraction it should be.” Liz also suggested that the upcoming ABP Marathon could provide a lot of answers for a vehicle-free city centre. She said: “That (the marathon) should be used as an experiment to see how difficult it is to get around the city, even with major roads shut off.” In response to the call, Cllr Hammond said: “We have trialled vehicle-free areas as part of the Clean Air Strategy. “Clean Air Day on the road in front of St John’s School was very successful, with the school children enjoying playing in the road. “But we would be more than happy to consider different options in the future.” As reported, the toll scrappage is expected to cost the authority around £32,000 each year in lost revenue. However this lost cash is nothing compared to the millions of pounds in fines which it faces if the city’s dangerously high pollution levels are not slashed, civic chiefs say. Daily Echo 13 April 2018
Waitrose to Remove Takeaway Coffee Cups
Although Romsey is not one of the trial stores, Waitrose have announced that single-use takeaway coffee cups will have been removed from all stores by Autumn 2018.
Why not make a start NOW by taking your reuseable cup along to the store when you want a free coffee.
ROMSEY could be about to have a new electric vehicle charging point. Hampshire County Council is to create 40 electric vehicle charging sites across the region – but they will only be available to public sector bodies. At its Buildings, Land and Procurement Panel meeting, officers disclosed plans to install the points in an effort to get more renewable vehicles on the road. However, it will only benefit council-operated transport, as the authority looks to bring in more electric vehicles (EVs) into its fleet. As previously reported, some staff at the authority were given electric vehicles to help reduce pollution around Hampshire. The cost or location of the sites have not been revealed, or how many charging points will be at each one, but Steve Clow, head of property services at the county council, said that several public bodies were keen to switch to EVs.It means that Romsey could be a possible destination. “We have had lots and lots of engagement from across the county; lots of interest,” he added. “We are making great progress and we’re generally surprised by the amount of interest.” It was also revealed that the council is set to spend £6.7 million replacing hundreds of lights across the county with LED bulbs, in a bid to become more energy efficient. This, officers predict, will save 1.15 million per year – making back their investment in six years.
Romsey Advertiser 6 April 2018
NEW electric car charging points at Southampton Airport.....................
..........are already sparking savings, say bosses.
The points have been up and running for just over a month, but the environmental impact is already being felt. The free charging bays have saved 205KW in their first five weeks of operation – equivalent to saving 143 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions from the local atmosphere. There are six charging bays in the airport’s public car parks – four in short stay and two in priority parking. With no extra charges for this service, drivers simply hook up to a charging point and pay normal parking rates. Local drivers are encouraged to drop by, park in an available bay and recharge their vehicles while enjoying a coffee from the comfort of the terminal building, just three minutes’ walk away. Over the course of the first year, the airport estimates that the charging bays will save around 1500kg of carbon dioxide emissions - the amount of greenhouse gas from an average passenger car driven 4,375 miles. Dave Lees, managing director of Southampton Airport, said: “The number of drivers switching to EVs is increasing exponentially. "These drivers need access to public charging as they go about their lives, and we need to make sure we’re meeting the needs of this particular group of customers. "We’re also pleased to be helping build the UK’s charging infrastructure with this installation. “In the future we may install more charge points, but for now we’ll monitor usage of these along with feedback from our customers. "And, we’ll be tracking our C02 emissions to see what savings we are making in this area.”
This unique cycle themed cafe and workshop will be open seven days a week, offering coffee, cake and snacks, from locally sourced producers for cyclists, walkers and visitors alike.
So far over £275,000 worth of funding and in-kind support has been raised but help is needed to raise the final £75,000.
Winchester residents have the opportunity to become a bronze, silver or gold member of the Handlebar Cafe. Members will receive many benefits including discounts and access to special member only events.
Health and nature in the government's 25 year plan for the environment - HIWWT's Response The importance of nature for our health was recognised by the government last week in their 25 Year plan for the environment . Among the proposals were connecting more young people with nature through their schools, and prescribing nature-based experiences to help people with mental health issues. Read more about the proposals and the HIWWT's response here
12 January 2018
Recycling News - Single Use Coffee Cups A First for Gosport
A NEW recycling initiative has been launched to make better use of coffee cups – a UK first. Packaging manufacturer, Huhtamaki, have partnered with Gosport Borough Council to trial a new recycling initiative which will see paper cups and lids recycled and turned into new products. The launch of the scheme came ahead of calls from from the House of Common’s Environmental Audit Committee for all disposable coffee cups to be recycled by 2023. The committee is calling on the Government to introduce a 25p charge on coffee sold in disposable cups – the so-called ‘Latte levy” – with the money raised used to improve the UK’s reprocessing facilities and “binfrastructure”. Some shops already give discounts to customers who bring their own cups but these only represent around one or two per cent of the coffees purchased each year. The committee is also calling on the Government to penalise producers who make packaging that is difficult to recycle.
The Gosport scheme, will see two specialist cup recycling bins for paper cups and lids placed at Gosport town hall and the leisure centre, both of which are owned by the council. Huhtamaki will then collect the waste ensure it is recycled rather than going to landfill. New products including garden furniture, park benches and flower tubs will then be made from recycled materials.
Council leader Mark Hook said: “We’re one of the first boroughs to try such a scheme, and it’s a great opportunity to show how councils and manufacturers can be ambitious in finding innovative ways to recycle. “I look forward to working with Huhtamaki on this important issue.” Finnish-owned Huhtamaki’s Gosport plant is one of the biggest manufacturers of paper cups in the UK. Neil Whittall, global category director for speciality coffee at Huhtamaki added: “We have worked on a number of recycling initiatives with customers, consumers and charitable organisations, but this is the first where our primary partner in the scheme is a local authority. “We are looking forward to contributing towards increased recycling rates in Gosport Borough.”
Daily Echo, 11 January 2018
GREAT NEWS FROM TVBC.......
From 1 January 2018, TVBC carton banks will also be able to collect plastic coated coffee cups for recycling – so get collecting !
Refill Reading is a grassroots campaign started by Transition Town Reading. We are aiming to reduce the amount of disposable coffee cups going to landfill by encouraging people in our town to use reusable cups in cafes. This project has the support of both Reading Borough Council and a number of cafes across Reading.Why are we doing this?It is estimated that in the UK, over seven million disposable cups are handed out by cafes every day, or approximately 2.5 billion annually. Most of these cups are not recyclable due to the plastic lining within the paper cup, and so the waste cups go to landfill, where they may take up to thirty years to break down. For more information see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36882799 or www.transitionreading.org.uk/refillreading/
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Visit 10:10's Wind Dialto see how we're doing as a country & add your voice calling for more wind generated power.
One of the current campaigns of ‘Friends of the Earth’ (FOE) is Air Pollution. They have developed a ‘Clean Air Kit’ to help people uncover what air pollution is like near where they live.
Several members of TTR are taking part in this study, and we are looking for more people to take part – ideally in different parts of Romsey. .
The kits are now available for dispatch from FOE. Go to www.foe.co.uk/go/clean-air-kit to order one. The kit comprises an air-monitoring tube, which participants have to put up for at least two weeks, and then send back for analysis. It also includes tops tips for avoiding exposure to air pollution and how people can take action to clean up their dirty air.
FOE says that the analysis is the most expensive part of producing the Clean Air Kit, and so they are asking participants for a minimum donation of £15. If you would like to take part but are unable to afford the suggested donation, please contact us, as we may be able to help out with the cost of putting up tubes in areas not already covered.
This means that during the time the air monitoring tubes were up, NO2pollution levels at two locations were abovethelevel at which the annual legal limit is set. The highest being outside the Plaza Theatre at the roundabout. Interestingly, despite the press about high air pollution in Southampton, none of the tests done there were above the legal limit. The only other place in this area with an above average level was Lyndhurst.
However, this is a snapshot of the air pollution for the place and time being monitored. Lots of things affect pollution levels over the course of a year, such as variations in the weather. This means that annual average results could look very different from your snapshot. Air pollution levels also vary greatly depending on how close you put your tube to where the pollution comes from. So there’ll be a reduction in levels even a few metres away from the source.
Friends of the Earth state that they do know that most areas of the UK are currently failing to meet legal limits set by the EU. And that short term and long term exposure to NO2 can have significant negative health effects. Cancer, heart disease and asthma have all been linked to poor air quality, and it’s usually the most vulnerable in society, like children, who are at the most risk. We need urgent action to clean up our air and cut the number of vehicles on the road that are pumping out harmful pollution. See www.foe.co.uk for more information about air pollution.