Dea Campbell - Car-free Development

The huge proposed development of the Phoenix site has generated a lot of controversy, not least from people who are worried about the effects of hundreds more cars on our quality of life. Personally, I had a horrible vision of a future Lewes; gridlocked, noisy, dangerous and rat-run infested, which spurred me into doing some research on the option of car-free development. This, it turns out, has proved very successful in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Edinburgh. Instead of owning private cars, residents have access to a car club, where they pay an annual membership fee and have access to low rental, low emission vehicles, parked in a car park on the periphery. The benefits are enormous for the development itself, and its surroundings. People seem to really enjoy living in these quiet, traffic-free areas, where everyone in the community can stop and chat in the streets and children can play outside.

I think innovative solutions like this will have to be explored if the South East is not to become unbearably congested as a result of the government’s massive house-building programme. This is quite apart from the urgent global need to encourage alternative, low-carbon ways of living. What do you think? Please browse the net to find out more about car-free housing, or have a look at my report in the Reports section of the Lewes Matters website, then pop into the LM Discussion Forum under Infrastructure and have your say.

Car-free, wherever you may be: Dea Campbell has a vision for the future