Canterbury Alliance for Sustainable Transport (CAST)

Picture provided by Spokes East Kent Cycling Campaign

C4CA becomes CAST

Canterbury 4 Clean Air is one of the new founding members of the Canterbury Alliance for Sustainable Transport(CAST). All future activities will now be undertaken as part of CAST.

The Westgate Towers Trial Scheme has unfortunately been shelved. A lost opportunity and a well-intentioned attempt by Canterbury City Council to try and begin to solve Canterbury’s dangerous air pollution levels and unpleasant congestion. However, fortunately certain aspects of the Trial will be retained and/or re-implemented.

CAST had planned a World Car Free Day for  Sunday 21st September 2014 but this event and other planned events around UN Earth Day (April 22nd) will take place in 2015. Car Free Day has been going since 2000 and the website about it can be found here. UN Earth Day has been going since 2009 and is a result of this UN resolution.

One of the current plans is to submit a revised Climate Change and Air Pollution Motion for adoption by Canterbury City Council. The original Motion was rejected by Canterbury City Council in 2012.  Since, then attitudes have changed for the better and it is hoped that this Motion will meet with more success. The Motion can be seen below.



Canterbury District Council will adopt the following Motion

Part 1) Climate Change and the Climate Change Recovery Plan

To extend our commitment under Climate Local[1] in order to avoid dangerous climate change and to help the Government meet its national and legal commitments, we the Council agree to implement the following measures:

 1. Work with central government to contribute, at a local level, to the UK Climate Change Programme, the Kyoto Protocol in order to avoid dangerous climate change[2] by the adoption of a Climate Change Recovery Plan for the District;


2. Join the All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change.


3. Assess the risk associated with climate change such as flooding and the implications for our services and adapt our local plan accordingly.


4. Participate in local and regional networks for support.


5. Urgently develop/revise plans with our partners, the Local Enterprise Partnership and local communities to reflect the Climate Change Recovery Plan for the district therefore securing maximum benefit for our communities.


6. Publicly declare, within all plans and strategies, the commitment to achieving a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as indicated in the Climate Change Recovery Plan from all sources across the district, including our own authority’s operations.


7. Encourage all sectors in our local communities through financial and other incentives, to take the opportunity to adapt to the impacts of climate change, to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions and to make public their commitment to action.


8. Monitor the progress of our plans against the actions needed and publish the results.


Part 2) Air pollution and the Sustainable Transport Blueprint for Canterbury

Canterbury’s air pollution is in breach of legal air quality objectives in Broad Street/Military Road, Upper Bridge Street, Lower Bridge Street, Sturry Road, North Lane, St Dunstan’s St., St Peter’s Place, Rheims Way and Wincheap. Infraction Proceedings have recently been instigated against the UK by the European Commission[3]. Fines are likely to be substantial for non-compliance. Air pollution is progressively getting worse. According to Bureau Veritas, the council’s air quality experts, there will need to be a huge reduction of vehicular traffic if air quality objectives are to be met. We therefore agree to the following measures;


9) To adopt and implement the Sustainable Transport Blueprint for Canterbury[4] devised by Dr Sloman including additional measures such as stop start technology for all public transport vehicles and in  meantime more information on, and enforcement of, vehicles (including cars) switching off their engines rather than idling as well as greater promotion of all-electric vehicles and hybrids.


10) To work on introducing with Kent County Council (KCC) Low Emission Zones across the district to target heavy goods vehicles, buses and delivery vehicles.


11) To work with KCC on the implementation of 20mph speed limits in all residential areas in the district and for the implementation on 30 mph for country lanes.



A bit of history…

On February 14th 2013, Canterbury’s Sustainable Transport Blueprint, by the national expert Lynn Sloman, was launched.

Lynn gave presentations on the Blueprint on April 26th. See News Section KECN Homepage for details.

Just in time too with the imminent cancellation of the Westgate Pilot Transport Study end of March 2013 and despite valiant later efforts has been permanently shelved.

What many people appear to be oblivious to in Canterbury or are too selfish to care, is that Canterbury is chocking under air pollution and to our shame, one of the highest carbon footprints in England (almost 3 and a half planets worth of resources consumed per capita).

Here are some uncomfortable facts for our selfish motorheads from the NICE Public Health Guidance

The UK’s Chief Medical Officers recommendation for adults’ level of physical  activity is a minimum of 2½ hours of moderate-intensity activity spread over a  week. For children, the target is at least 1 hour of vigorous activity per day. The reality is that objective data reveal that only 5% of adults and 2.5%  of children achieve these targets.

The current levels of urban air pollution with its significant associated levels of  morbidity and mortality, and of collisions cost society £10 billion a year; road congestion causes delays and costs the economy £11 billion a year.

Increasing the time spent walking or cycling leads to evidence-based health benefits such as: reduction in obesity, stroke, heart attacks, cancer and Type 2 diabetes; healthy musculo-skeletal systems; promotion of mental well-being.

KECN is pleased to be hosting CAST. Before CAST, some of the members were part of Canterbury 4 Clean Air which was set up early in 2011 to address Canterbury’s worsening air pollution, congestion and huge carbon footprint.  Air pollution legislation has largely been ignored in Canterbury as elsewhere.

The legislation is considered toothless however there is now a helpful judgment from the Supreme Court that holds that the UK is in breach of air quality objectives. A reference has been made to the Court of Justice of the European Union to establish what the fines might be when the duties are not met.

Air pollution has been getting worse year on year in Canterbury.In 2006, we had two streets that were in breach of air quality limits now we have over 9. This trend will continue unless we force our politicians to take air pollution seriously or we get better legislation with penalties. Canterbury needs a significant reduction in car use if air quality limits are to be met. Cycling and walking should be the first transport choice with the necessary infrastructure implemented. The Tories with their mates at Canterbury 4 Business are busy lobbying away for a further Park and Ride, 5 more slip roads, out of town developments and so on.Clearly, air pollution, climate change and biodiversity mean little to them.

The UK Government and local councils are failing to deliver on sustainable traffic. Research by Halcrow for Friends of the Earth and Sustrans called ‘Moving Towards Smarter Travel?’  shows that the Government and Local Councils are ignoring advice from the Committee on Climate Change to introduce schemes that cut traffic. For more information contact Russell at

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