Sustainable transport is an important part of tacking both the air quality crisis and the climate emergency in Portsmouth. Here are the per-capita local bus rates for various regions in south-east England. Flying high is Brighton and Hove, as well as Reading. Third place goes to Southampton although they have not improved in a while. Portsmouth is down at 6th place (more or less) and has hardly changed in 10 years. What is striking is the contrast between the best and worst areas. Of course, London has far higher rates of bus usage because investment in Transport for London has produced a decent bus network. Source data is BUS0110 by DfT.

Next, on cycling rates in Portsmouth:

This considers monitoring locations that have a measurement 2003 or before, as well as 2017 or after. I then use linear interpolation to get a rough measurement for every year (not all locations are monitored continuously). Then I take the total to get a rough city wide score. Data originally from DfT (average daily flow). One major shortcoming with this approach is that monitoring locations tend to be on busy routes which are often unpopular with cyclists.

From the data we have, cycling seems to have improved from 2003 to 2014, but then cycling rates have fallen back considerably by 2017. Another way of looking at it is we are still at the same rate as 15 years ago!

In both of these charts, more recent data is not available which is a pity since sustainable transport has moved up the political agenda in recent years. However I would not expect much improvement as recent measures by the council are still tinkering around the edges rather than the radical action we need. Part of the problem is central government is limiting funding to enable the council to address this important issues.

PS Portsmouth found to have worst PM2.5 particulate pollution outside of London.

Update: DEFRA has doubts about class B CAZ?

Clean Air Day is on 18 June 2020.