Nottingham has been named as England’s least car dependent city in a survey that labels Milton Keynes the worst for buses and cyclists – but pretty good for cars! Nottingham’s success, ahead of Brighton and London, is down to an award winning bus service, a nine mile tram network and extensive cycle lanes which have offered people a “real choice” to get them out of their cars and to ake them consider whether or not they “need their car for their jounrey, because they have excellent alternatives”.
London, with its extensive underground network, popular bus system, overland train lines and a new bike lend programme insitgated by Boris Johnson came second and Brighton, with its much admired bus network and quick rail links to London, as well as a compact size suitable for walking and cycling, came third. Manchester was fourth and Liverpool fifth.
The Campaign for Better Transport pointed out that Milton Keynes was designed with the car in mind, and it was difficult to get around the city without one saying “travelling on public transport is a poor alternative”. Milton Keynes Council told the Guardian (14 September 2010) that transport links were improving with 270 km of cycling and walking routes as well as 8.2 milllion bus journeys each year .
Its not all bad in MK by the way – they had a terrific exhibition there this year (IF … see previous blogs) and also take a look at http://www.thecentremk.com/Generic-Pages/Environment .
But back to Nottingham, and their University comes up top of the green league too – the University of Nottingham now has an eco-campus and was highly commended in this year’s Green Gown Awards. The new bioscience block is being built using straw bales and there are now six buildings with greem living roofs. One building on the Jubilee Campus has photovoltaic cells embedded in is glass and uses just a quarter of the energy required by a simlar sized building. Ouside the gounds have been turned to meadow and willow is framed for biomass, five lakes now provide heating and colling for three of the main sites and studnts can even get involved with an allotment! For nore see the Observer Magazine, 25th July 2010 p27 (Lucy Siegle).