A COUNCIL has had its say over the possibility of banning cars from a city centre.

Brighton and Hove City Council revealed it has “no current plans” to block any type of vehicles but is looking into ways to respond to government requirements to improve air quality.

Last week The Argus reported that scientists have found that up to 54 people living in the centre of Brighton die prematurely every year due to exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a gas emitted by road traffic.

The research from Edinburgh University looked at the health effects of NO2 in West Street, Old Steine, Lewes Road, London Road and Kingsway.

Councillor Anne Pissaridou, chairwoman of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, described the study as “a wake-up call in Brighton and Hove for everyone to take responsibility and step up actions to improve local air quality”.

Addressing the possibility of a ban on cars in the city centre, she said: “There are no current plans to ban any type of car from the city centre but we are monitoring what other cities are doing in response to the climate emergency and to government requirements to improve air quality.

“In the next few months we will be inviting residents to have their say on a new local transport plan.

“This is an opportunity to say what you think the future of transport and travel in Brighton and Hove should look like.

“We will consider a wide range of initiatives that can best contribute to promoting sustainable and active travel and the city becoming carbon neutral by 2030.”

This follows an announcement by the City of York Council last week in which the authority said it wanted to ban private cars in the city centre by 2023.

Councillors backed a proposal to end all “non-essential” vehicle journeys within the city walls.

This followed Bristol City Council approving plans to ban diesel cars from some parts of the city, in a bid to cut air pollution, in November last year. This scheme is due to start in 2021.

But Steve Percy, chairman of the People’s Parking Protest in Brighton and Hove, disagreed with the idea of banning cars.

He said: “The motorist gives the council money, through parking and fines. If you take away the facilities for cars to come into the city, you take away that income to support the city.”