Transport in Manchester by olliegoblue36


									                              Transport in Manchester
trans•port [v. trans-pawrt, -pohrt; n. trans-pawrt, -pohrt]
–verb (used with object)
to carry, move, or convey from one place to another.
the act of transporting or conveying; conveyance.
a means of transporting or conveying, as a truck or bus.

How and why we get about has an impact, not only on the environment, but also our health and
quality of life.

I include walking, cycling (including powered), bus, tram, train and car in the definition of transport.
Manchester has a hierarchy of road users based on the sustainability and vulnerability of these

What we know:
“Transport is currently responsible for about a quarter of total UK CO2 emissions. This figure
excludes those from international aviation as there is currently no international agreement on ways
of allocating them. In the short term, emissions of carbon from road transport are expected to grow
by about 10 per cent from 2000 levels by 2010. This is because increased levels of traffic will offset
improvements in fuel efficiency. Emissions from other sectors are due to fall at the same time, so
transport’s share of total emissions is likely to increase substantially. The trends change after
2010. Slower traffic growth and continued improvements in fuel efficiency are expected to produce
a fall in road traffic CO2 emissions of around 5 per cent between 2010 and 2015, with further falls
thereafter.”(Dft 2004, p107)

This is a conservative outlook. Transport is responsible for at least a quarter of CO2 emissions in
the UK, and rising fast. Despite our best efforts to save energy, at home and at work, the savings
in emissions obtained by greater energy efficiency, recycling and other actions are being eroded by
increasing levels of traffic.

To make the required impact on climate change there must be real alternatives to current private
car usage.

Opportunities for reliable, safe and efficient travel change choices must be made available to all.
And we must all make those choices, the egg or the chicken!

How is this to be done?

What is happening?
The biggest step is the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) bid. Is this the answer to reducing CO2
emissions in Manchester? Not intentionally, but it will help.

The TIF bid is based solely on economics. It is an attempt to ensure that Manchester continues to
grow as the economic powerhouse of the North West. However, if the world as we know it ends
owing to climate change, but Manchester is economically strong, who exactly will find consolation
in that?

Although the TIF bid is not aimed at reducing green house gases and tackling climate change at
least is does not pretend to be. There is a plus side to it however, as the improvements mooted for
public transport, with also more walking and cycling will make a difference to emissions.

The Strategic Environmental Assessment of the TIF bid concluded that the implementation of the
proposed package will result in benefits, including a 6% reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions, across Greater Manchester.                                                          75
Is this enough? I doubt it. We will need to make more reductions. Transport is probably the easiest
to change in the short term.

Below is a table showing the comparative climate change performance of the main (motorised)
transport modes available in Manchester over a year.
Mode                                               CO2 (grams per passenger km)
Metrolink                                          34 (Based on 2006 figures of 204m passenger
                                                   km and 4.6m tram km. Assuming standard
                                                   electricity generation mix) Stop Press: That has
                                                   moved to green leccy- (hydro).
Rail - electric                                    54 (2005/6 - from Baseline Energy Statement
                                                   March 2007. Based on national generation mix
                                                   (DUKES) and national patronage and mileage
Route 135 Bury Manchester                          55 (Based on actual mpg (First Mcr, personal
                                                   comm.) and Quality Bus Corridor (QBC) study of
                                                   passenger loadings)
Rail diesel                                        74 (National figures from ATOC quoted in
                                                   Baseline Energy Statement March 2007. Based
                                                   on fuel supplied to train operators.)
All Quality Bus Corrdors                           75 (Where they exist they show the benefits)
All TfL bus                                        80 (included to show how bus could be if
                                                   improvement measure introduced across Gtr
QBC excluding route 135                            88 (Quality Bus Corridors do make a difference)
Car                                                127 (Based on Gtr Manchester’s average
                                                   occupancy of 1.3. National figure is 1.4 – this
                                                   reflects higher car occupancy nationally than here
General Gtr Manchester bus network                 150 (There is a lot of difference between vehicles
                                                   and infrastructure across Gtr Manchester. This
                                                   figure could be more like TfL or all QBC with
                                                   improvements from TIF)

So what does this mean?
Additional metrolink lines, and carriages, will reduce the number of cars along those routes,
significantly reducing emissions by about 93 grams per car, if the car user switches to tram.

Additional capacity on the trains will result in savings in CO2 emissions of around 73gms (electric)
or 54 grams (diesel). It’s a shame no new rail lines are being built. The extra carriages on offer will
make a difference (maybe a third more passengers), but not as much as a whole new line.

Then we come to the humble bus. In comparison to other modes the bus is the workhorse of the
city, carrying the lions share (over 80%) of passengers. Interestingly the table above shows some
alarming differences between bus services across Greater Manchester and elsewhere.

In general the bus network across Greater Manchester results in 150 grams per passenger km.
When you compare this to a car (127g), the immediate reaction may be that the car is better.
However, looking at Gtr Manchester as a whole, we see rural areas where a bus is an essential
link, but being less populated may only get half a dozen or so passengers. There are also some
older and less efficient buses still on the road.

As an example, a Euro III (the standard set in 2000) engine bus will emit approx 1200 grams of
CO2 per kilometre (no passengers). To make this more efficient than the average car (with 1.3
occupants) it would need about 8 passengers for each kilometre so the more the better. A full bus
with 50 passengers would result in about 24 grams per passenger per kilometre, in ideal
circumstances of course.
The figures for the 135 route show how efficient the bus can be with what is currently available .It is
a very busy route with modern buses and some bus priority measures. As with all bus routes the
competition for road space, especially at major junctions, is what prevents the bus being more
efficient. Of course this could be improved, and TIF will do this.

There will also be knock on effects. As one bus route gets new, modern and efficient engine buses,
the older, less efficient bus will be put on another route, replacing even older and even less
efficient buses, and so on, so even the lesser routes will see improvements.

The car, or at least the type / way it is used, is having a seriously detrimental effect on climate
change. The figures above are based on an average engine size and 1.3 occupants. Using these
figures to calculate the efficiency (127 * 1.3 = 165.1g pp) shows that a full car, 4 people, returns
41.28g pp (165.1 / 4) which is less efficient than a full bus (1200 / 50 = 24g pp). Again ideal
circumstance would be required. An extra calculation to consider here, particularly in relation to
congestion, is the number of vehicles. The fewer vehicles the bus has to compete with, the more
efficient it becomes.

The average passenger capacity for buses is about 60 passengers, though size, number of decks
etc, vary. Smaller single decker buses can carry about 40 passengers, larger double deckers about
80. So one bus could take the equivalent of between 10 and 20 full cars off the road. Based on the
average occupancy though, the average figure is closer to 46, with a high of 61 and a low of 30.

You may think that there is a disproportionate slant on the bus here, so may I remind you of the
figure quoted near the beginning: Buses carry at least 80% of all public transport passengers.
Buses are also the easiest to re-route, the easiest to establish a route for and the easiest to serve
a variety of areas, from residential to industrial, and also to connect neighbouring areas using
existing infrastructure, the road network.

The bus, although less glamorous or exciting than some of the other modes, is the only really
viable mass transit system for our towns and cities, especially when you add alternative fuels I.e.
electricity (trolley bus), hydrogen fuel cell (of hydrogen combustion), hybrid, biofuel, into the mix .
The main point here though is the more occupants the better, regardless of mode.

Obviously walking and cycling are the most efficient and sustainable modes, needing only a decent
meal to fuel the journey (and not only from a CC perspective). Any improvements made to the
facilities here would be an enormous boost. Moreover, they will be good for our health too!

What will make the biggest difference?
There is no one single thing, that will be easy to implement and acceptable across the board, (and
totalitarianism seems to be unpopular...)

The TIF improvements to public transport should make a difference, provided they deliver what the
travelling public wants, i.e. a safe, reliable, affordable, comfortable, integrated, frequent public
transport system that operates at the time they want to use it, and not just to get to and from work /
school. It must run into the evening / night and at weekends, so people can enjoy the fruits of their

This provision on its own will result in some changes in travel choices being made regardless of
the congestion charge. The addition of fiscal penalties will increase the likelihood of such changes
being made, albeit grudgingly. Has anyone got a carrot?

Relying on the TIF improvements alone will not be enough. To make the kind of changes needed
to negate climate change will require more, much more, including the rather totalitarian sounding
'behavioural change' (well it sounds like something out of the Orwellian vision from 1984 to me) so
I suggest we……

Change why we travel:
Reducing the need to travel will have a huge impact, possibly the biggest. Designing new
developments, or revamping existing ones so that the most common travel destinations are close
to where people are is one way.
The most common destinations / reason for travel are to access education, employment, food,
health and leisure facilities.

Most of these reasons have a level of compulsion attached, so it is unlikely we will be able to
persuade people not to travel to them. However the location and ease of access to them by foot,
bicycle or public transport will significantly reduce car usage. Not providing car parks will also
discourage car use.

We must encourage and facilitate more working from home, or establish satellite / shared offices /
workshops across the city, moving away from the centralised office culture which just compounds
the congestion problem by increasing the numbers entering the limited space in the centres, with
all the other negative effects on air quality, parking problems etc. this has.

Change how we travel:
Car sharing offers the convenience of the car but shares the emissions. There are several car-
sharing clubs in Greater Manchester.

Taking the bus, train or tram, just one day a week will result in emission savings.
Get a bike. Cycling is a great way of 'waking up' on the way to work. You’ll get exercise and fresh
air, and arrive at work invigorated. Cycling England ( estimate half of al
car trips are less than 5 miles. This is an ideal distance for cycling and in many cases, cycling will
be quicker.

It is possible to purchase a bike and all the trimmings via a salary sacrifice scheme, by which you
could save up to 43% of the cost and pay from gross earnings, saving on the tax and national
Insurance payments.

Walking is obviously not for everyone, but if you work within walking distance why not try it? You
will get to see a lot more of the neighbourhood you live in, and perhaps meet one or two of your

Or try a combination. Every little bit we can do will make a difference. If the infrastructure and
services are provided (out of our taxes) we should be using them.

So in conclusion:
Manchester has adopted a Road Users Hierarchy to ensure that planning takes into account the
most sustainable and vulnerable modes of transport in planning decisions. This could ensure that
walking, cycling and public transport are given priority over general car use in any new

The TIF bid will see huge improvement in public transport provision and infrastructure, making
public transport a more attractive and viable alternative.

The TIF bid also includes walking and cycling facilities (including 200 km of new cycle routes)
which will make it easier and safer to use these modes. The health benefits alone make these
appealing, although there is nothing we can do about the weather!

Share the journey, by whatever means. Join a lift / car sharing scheme, or even set up your own
where you work, find a walking or cycling buddy or someone who can get the same bus, train or
tram. Make the journey less of a chore and chat about things that are going on.

The Transport Pool can help /advise on lift sharing or other ideas mentioned in this article.
(who were not responsible for the choice of cartoon used to illustrate this piece, and in fact didn't
even see it before it went to press.)

“I pondered all these things, and how people fight
and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought
for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when
it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and
other people have to fight for what they meant
under another name.”
                                     William Morris
[Ed: the original quote says 'men' not 'people'. As Kultural Kommissar for Politikal Korrectness Gone Mad, I took an executive decision]

     Dig for Victory: Allotments won't defend themselves!
        Local Authorities are draping themselves in green credentials while allowing for what has
been a key part of working class culture, the Allotment, to disappear. Whether by stealth, design or
neglect, allotments are disappearing under concrete or tarmac to feed the remorseless appetite of the
property developers.
        It wasn't always thus. During World War Two there were nearly 1.5 million allotments
contributing nearly 20% of agricultural production. The government encouraged it with its Dig for
Victory campaign and produced countless guides on how to grow a variety of produce.
        Well, we may not be fighting the Nazi war machine as we were 60 years ago but we are
locked into a battle against the idea that every piece of 'unprofitable' green space has to be turned
into a commodity to make the rich richer. A process that has been lubricated and facilitated by
Central and local government. The only green this bunch like is a golf course.
        To stop this process and turn it around and expand the quantity of allotments, a little more
resistance can start to go along way. Allotments are governed by a Act of Parliament. We need to
use that Act it for all it's worth, and back that up with a health dose of direct action. We should
demand that councils source land to make it available for allotments. This is a requirement under
the Act where there is proven demand. 'Stop handing the land to the developers, give it to the
people' It's our right and collectively we can make it happen.
        Why should we do this? Allotments are not going to compete with the output of modern
intensive agriculture but they can make a contribution in so many other ways: what makes a
healthy diet, teaching our kids about the rhythms of nature, that there are more varieties of fruit and
veg to the standardise, cloned specimens that stare back at us from the supermarket shelves.. They
provide a community resource and can help foster local bio-diversity. But more over in a society
that says everything is a commodity to be bought and sold and where profit is the one god to
worship. Working an allotment, is one of the best forms of unalienated labour you can find and
that's good for our souls.

Resistance is fertile: a case study
The Pleasant Street Allotments in Harpurhey, North Manchester ( have a look on Google). have been neglected
for a number of years. Resources were not made available to bring them back into use.
In early 2007 planning permission was submitted to build luxury apartments on them and neighbouring land.
Residents and the Association of Manchester Allotments Society submitted objections. Nothing was heard for 18
months. When a couple of us approached the Town Hall planning department, there appeared to be no records as
to what was going on.

We decided to move and in early August organised a Guerilla Gardening Day. Thirty people turned up, and over
a few hours paths were cleared. It was a catalyst to getting things moving. Then at the end of August, the
developers breached the surrounding 8 foot high wall to the allotment, cleared a quarter of the site and dumped
rubble to the depth of a couple of feet across the area. We went mad. We contacted the local media, said we'd sit
in front of the bulldozers if they came again. We met early Monday morning (1st September) on the allotment.
We were standing on the rubble. Alongside us was an extremely helpful journalist, who then set to work, chasing
the council, the developers, the local Regen company.
The developers didn't appear but because of the resulting hullabalou, within 72 hours they had been forced to
come back and clear out the rubble, and commit to repairing the wall.

This is only the first chapter of the battle to re-claim Pleasant Street Allotments. The battle is not over yet but
were heading in the right direction.

Richard Searle 07760 224 580

Abundance is a project which aims to harvest
surplus or unwanted fruit from gardens around Manchester and
distribute it to local groups and communities who need it.
Do you have a fruit tree in your garden?
If you have a fruit tree in your garden and have surplus fruit, or
are physically unable to pick the fruit, please get in touch! We
will come and help harvest the fruit, and you will get the first
What will we do we with the fruit?
We will distribute the fruit to local groups that need it, e.g.
refugee and asylum seeker groups. Please also get in touch if
you want to receive fruit for your group or organisation. If we
have too much of any one fruit we will make jams, pickles and
Do you want to help us?
Please also get in touch if you are interested in joining our group! We need people to help
pick the fruit, preserve it, distribute it, and assist with the general running of our group.
Yesterday (4th September) was the first delivery of food! It was taken to The Destitution
Project, which supplies food to destitute refugees, and The Mustard Tree, which gives food
to homeless people. The five different varieties of apples were picked on Saturday and
surplus veg was also donated from allotments.
phone 07855 569 737

“People should have one meat-free day a week if they want to make a personal and
effective sacrifice that would help tackle climate change, the world's leading authority on
global warming has told The Observer (7th Sept 2008)
“Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, which last year earned a joint share of the Nobel Peace Prize, said that people
should then go on to reduce their meat consumption even further.”

The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom is the oldest vegetarian organisation in the
world. It is an educational charity promoting understanding and respect for vegetarian
                                                  We offer expert advice on nutritional
                                                  issues and provide free information to
                                                  individuals, companies and
We keep vegetarianism in the news and feed the real facts to the press.
We campaign to raise the profile of vegetarian issues and help people understand the
reasons for choosing a vegetarian way of life
We give talks and presentations to schools, colleges and community groups.

“Veggies” is a volunteer-led, community-based, social enterprise.
It has been promoting vegan catering and supporting campaigns for animal rights,
environmental protection and social justice since 1984.
Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Nottingham NG7 6HX
Phone: 0845 458 9595 (0115 960 8254)

Vegan Society
Founded in 1944, The Vegan Society provides advice on ways of living
free of animal products for the benefit of people, animals and the planet.
People: UK dietary calories from animal products have fallen 25% in 25
years as millions of people attempt to follow Government advice and
adopt a healthier, more plant rich diet.
Animals: Concern about factory farming and animal welfare has never
been greater.
The Environment: Western food choices have a major impact on the natural environment
and the developing world

                                                     “Vegan-organics is any system of cultivation that
                                                     avoids artificial chemicals and sprays, livestock
                                                     manures and animal remains from slaughter
                                                     houses. Alternatively, fertility is maintained by
                                                     vegetable compost, green manures, crop
rotation, mulches, and any other method that is sustainable, ecologically viable and not dependent
upon animal exploitation. This will ensure long term fertility, and wholesome food for this and future
Vegan-organics is but one aspect of a dynamic culture. Our commitment is to peace and justice for
people, animals and the environment in a sustainable balance. To achieve this we must change
our lifestyles and introduce a philosophy which will continue to maintain our unique planet. We are
motivated by our awareness of the great unease in society that we are moving towards a world that
can no longer sustain life in the natural way it has always evolved. The Vegan-Organic Network
attempts to come to grips with politics and ethics in everyday living.”

Manchester Food & Well-Being Group

Worth a read:

Diet for a Small Planet by Francis Moore Lappe.

The Oil We Eat: Following the food chain back to Iraq
by Richard Manning
“We learn as children that there is no free lunch, that you don't get something from nothing, that what goes
up must come down, and so on. The scientific version of these verities is only slightly more complex. As
James Prescott Joule discovered in the nineteenth century, there is only so much energy. You can change it
from motion to heat, from heat to light, but there will never be more of it and there will never be less of it.
The conservation of energy is not an option, it is a fact. This is the first law of thermodynamics.”
                  Food and Climate Change
What YOU can do
There are a few simple general guidelines to bear in mind which should help.

      Avoid Highly Processed Foods - generally speaking, the more processed a
       food and the more steps there are between production and table, the greater
       the energy that has gone into its manufacture, so it is likely to be relatively
       “high carbon”.
      Avoid Over-Packaged Foods - packaging can account for as much as a
       quarter of the energy used in food production and can often end up needing to
       be disposed of, if no suitable recycling facilities exist.
      Choose Less Meat - raising animals for meat generally requires more energy,
       water and land than raising crops.
      Eat More Fruit & Vegetables - the government’s “five-a-day” campaign has
       already raised awareness of the health aspects of eating vegetables; in
       addition, a vegetable diet is less demanding of resources – though it does
       depend on where they came from and how you buy them.
      Think About Buying Local Produce - locally produced foods can often qualify
       as low carbon, but not all imported foods use more energy than home-grown
       produce. Intensive production methods may sway the carbon-balance and it’s
       not all just about distance – the method of transport matters too – so the food
       miles argument is not always as black and white as we might like!
      Go Organic - whether or not organic foods actually do taste better is a subject
       of much impassioned debate, but their production certainly avoids many of the
       pollution risks of conventional agriculture and encourages biodiversity.

Few things link us quite so directly to the environment as food or remind us so
clearly just how dependent we are on the planet for our survival. Looking at
how our food is produced brings together so many of the global concerns over
land, energy and water resources – and with a little thought about the
selections we make, we really can make a difference every time we pick up a
knife and fork.

Food Emissions
So why have we included a chapter on food in the Climate Change Strategy?
Well there are two main reasons:
    One reason is that the way we grow, process, package, transport, store,
      cook, eat and dispose of our food has a severe affects on the climate.
    The other reason is that changes in the climate lead to changes in the
      way we grow, transport and store our food, as well as how much our
      food costs how this effects our economy and the incidence of famine.

As such the intertwined relationship between food and climate affects food
“Food Security means that food is available at all times; that all persons have
means of access to food; that it is nutritionally adequate in terms of quality,
quantity and variety; and that it is acceptable within the given culture. Only
when all these conditions are in place can a population be considered food
Secure.” United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that the average personal carbon
footprint in Britain for food was almost 23% of the total emissions per person;
this is more that transport or home energy! So how is this possible?

                                                          *data from Z squared

Shared Infrastructure = share of energy for constructing schools, hospitals,
roads, airports, etc; Shared Service = share of total energy for running
schools, hospitals, financial services, etc; Domestic Embodies Energy = the
energy needed to construct your home.
This 23% food emissions Carbon emissions occur at all stages of food
production, from field to fork:

                      Food Emissions by Sector UK

                                                          packaging 4.76%
                                                               fertiliser 5.29%
                                                                           catering 7.94%

                  agriculture 39.15%                                          retail 4.76%

                                                                            domestic 11.11%

                                                                  transport 13.23%
                                        manufacturing 13.76%

                                                                     *data from FCRN Publications

Agriculture alone produces almost 9% of the total GHG emissions in the UK. There
are three main components of agricultural GHGs the most prominent of which is
Nitrous Oxide (N2O).

N2O is naturally emitted by bacteria in soils and oceans, and thus has been a part of Earth's
atmosphere for aeons. However, heavy cultivation of soils, use of nitrogen fertilizers and animal
waste handling practices are increasing its atmospheric concentrations by causing an over
production by bacteria. Most notably though, it is the rearing of livestock which produces the
majority of all anthropogenic N2O emissions in the UK. Agriculture produces 66% of N2O
emissions in UK at 7.4MtCe / year and with an climate change potency 310 times that of CO2 this is
a major climate disrupter. (defra)

Agriculture, especially rearing of livestock produces 36% of all methane (CH4)
emissions in the UK at a rate of 5.7MtCe / year. CH4 is 21 times more potent than
CO2 at heating the atmosphere. (defra)

Agriculture emits only a small proportion of total UK CO2 emissions, around 1% with
emissions of 1.4MtCe. defra However, the manufacture of fertilisers and pesticides
produces 2.3MtC / year alone and the depletion of soil organic carbon through
industrial cultivation accounts for around 4MtC / year. It is still unclear how much
food packaging (of which there is 4.7 million tonnes produced every year) contributes
to emissions of food.

Food Transport
Food miles increased by 15% in the 10 years to 2002. The average distance we now
drive to shop for food each year is 898 miles, compared with 747 miles a decade ago.
Food transport accounts for 25% of all the miles driven by heavy goods vehicles on
our roads. The use of HGVs to transport food has doubled since 1974.

19MtC which accounts for were emitted in 2002 in the course of getting our food to
us, a 12% increase on 1992. Airfreight, the most polluting form of food transport and
is growing fastest.

Food Waste
Approximately one third of all food bought in the UK is thrown away (WRAP) leading
to 18MtCe / year through the release of GHGs through decomposition in landfill or
incineration. For every tonne of food waste produced, 4.5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent is
released. When food waste breaks down in the absence of oxygen (anaerobically) CH4
is produced. While some of this gas is captured in landfill, at least half (93,000
tonnes in the UK) escapes into the atmosphere, making the same contribution to
global warming as 3.8 million flights to New York according to Global Renewables.

A WRAP report into waste arising from schools in England found that the proportion of
food found in waste from primary schools was more than twice as high as the
proportion of food waste found in household waste (46% compared to 22%). The
proportion of food waste found in secondary schools was a third higher than from
households (31% compared to 22%).

                   % Breakdown of Waste from Primary Schools in England

                                                    metals 2
                                                                 garden waste 5

                                                           fines 3

                        pulpables 30

                                                                        food waste 46

                     plastic film 4
                                   textiles 1
                       dense plastic 5

                                      misc 3

                                               glass 1

                   % Breakdown of Waste from Secondary Schools in England

                                                 metals 4
                                                                   garden waste 1

                                                               fines 3

                                                                                    food waste 31

                 pulpables 39

                                                                                glass 1
                                                                              miscellaneous 3
                                                                            textiles 1

                                              plastic film 7
                                                          dense plastic 10

The involvement of the food retail and catering industry is vital in meeting
Manchester's recycling and landfill targets in helping to reduce the amount of
biodegradable municipal waste landfilled.

So what can be done to reduce the amount of GHG emissions
in Manchester?
Manchester City Council needs to achieve a substantial reduction in food
related GHGs through a number of programmes such as:

   work with and invest in local partners and initiatives such as Zest and Food Futures
    to help educate school children and adults in making the right retail choices, such
         buying fresh locally produced food from local businesses, the importance and
           benefits of doing so - both economically, socially and environmentally;
         buying unpackaged, unprocessed and seasonal foodstuffs.
   work with adults, schools and families to educate and facilitate in the growing of
    food, either at home, at school, the work place, in community gardens and on

    work to enact the delivery of community gardens and allotments wherever and
      when ever the demand arises – utilising derelict land, wasted amenity space and
      areas of large parks (for practical and educational uses). Where hard-core or
      subsoil deficient land exists, construction bags and deep fill beds shall be used.
    work with other organisations such as MEEN and Emerge to develop food waste
      minimisation strategy for schools & colleges, the health service and other public
      sector organisations as well as the private food retail and catering sector to ensure
      that food waste is diverted from landfill and incineration in favour of utilising it as a
      sustainable resource.

City Wide Food Waste Utilisation
        provide every household with a kerbside waste food collection box, collected weekly.
        invest in community composting, anaerobic digestion and biogas facilities, the latter of
         which will transform food and garden waste into energy used to power and heat the facility
         with any surplus being sold for profit to the national grid.
        by-product will be provided to local allotments, community gardens and market gardens for
         use as fertiliser and soil improver on their facilities. Defra recently carried out a risk
         assessment study of the animal and public health risks posed by using
         composted and biogass treated catering waste as a soil improver and concluded
         that under satisfactory controls this practice poses no risk to animal or human

Local Food Delivery Services - what, where, benefits.

Currently the access to food grown by local farmers is limited. Joining up the farmers
to the consumers in urban areas can be very difficult logistically. Refrigerated haulage,
essential to maintain freshness on hot days, is extremely costly. Moving fresh food
from individual farms, on suitable growing land into cities, can be prohibitively
expensive. Transportation is always an obstacle.

The ideal situation might be to buy from producers closer to the city. Even so, organic
local delivery companies around Manchester only have a select few organically
certified growers to purchase from. The increasing costs in agriculture, including fuel
prices and even the minimum wage means that growers have become creative out of
necessity in an effort to keep costs down. The World Wide Opportunities on Organic
Farms organisation (WWOOF) brings together volunteer workers in exchange for food
and board. This is obviously a temporary, and not a cast iron solution, but a legal
alternative to illegal workers being paid less than minimum wage. It has been
extremely difficult for UK growers to compete with their European neighbours on
price, until recently, but now the strength of the Euro, compared to the Pound, is
beginning to bridge that gap.

Organic food distribution in most areas is limited to supermarkets, health food shops
and box delivery schemes. The boom in the delivery market has created larger
business models, who use large distribution centres and cover huge distances,
transporting produce across the country in bulk to reduce their costs, but still
consuming a large quantity of fuel and detaching themselves from the original ethic of
local food, distributed to local people. Luckily there are some delivery businesses who
still believe that joining up the nearest farmers to the consumers in the local towns
and cities is their main objective. The shorter the distance the lesser the cost;

reducing the time from field to plate and maintaining the nutritious integrity of the
food itself. When a group of retailers join together to use their collective buying power
to bring pallets of produce to a local centre and then share the transportation costs, it
then becomes cost effective with a reduced environmental impact.

The ordering system for most box schemes means that they must place their exact
orders with the wholesalers nearly a week in advance of the actual delivery date. The
wholesalers then give the farmers the order quantities they require, the farmer then
picks to order and therefore the wastage is kept to a minimum. Packaging is kept to a
minimum also. Produce from the farms is most often delivered in large reusable
boxes, or wooden or cardboard boxes, both with a low environmental impact. The
need for protective packaging is reduced when the distance travelled is shorter, plus
most box schemes then pack reusable boxes which their customers return week on
week. The need for individually packaged produce virtually disappears.

To keep their customers happy, most box schemes want to vary the contents of their
boxes. In doing so the farmers are then able to grow a wider range of produce which
enables them to maintain biodiversity on their farms, through rotating crops, reducing
the stress that monoculture places on the soil and the need for artificial fertilisers.
Many farmers are now experimenting with older varieties of produce too which may
have been sidelined in the past, despite their great taste for greater cropping
varieties. This in turn is preserving the richness of seed variety for further
generations. The consumers themselves are then exposed to a greater variety of food.
We humans are creatures of habit and most of us need a little direction in knowing
what foods are in season. Box schemes provide the answer to this question-by
delivering seasonal local produce to your door every week, a variety whole
unprocessed food, usually with tips and recipes on how to cook and store the box

Beth Creedon         for more information contact: 0161 273 1736

Growing Your Own Food (and Flowers)

Another way of ensuring that your food carries as little environmental detriment as
possible is to grow your own food. This ensures an absolute minimum in food
transport emissions. If grown in the absence of chemical fertilisers then the footprint
of the harvest is even further reduced.

Perhaps less publicly debated is the emissions associated with the cultivation and
transportation of cut flowers. Britons spend £1.5bn on millions of cut flowers each
year, with the bulk (85%) coming from overseas. A fifth of the imports are from
countries outside of the EU, with Kenya and Colombia topping the list. Flowers flown
in from Kenya alone are responsible for over 33,000 tonnes of CO2 each year,
research released by the Liberal Democrats shows. Obviously growing your own
flowers in the UK without the use of heated greenhouses brings about limitations to
what can be grown when; however, our temperate climate allows for the growth of
beautiful native and none native flowers outside, through all seasons, even winter.

Under current allotment association rules a proportion of an allotment can also be
used for the cultivation of flowers as well as food.

How much Allotment space should Manchester provide?
The National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners (NSALG) has set a national
standard for allotments provision of 20 plots per 1000 households.
 The current Allotment Provision in Manchester is 59.11 hectares which means we are
currently slightly above the national standard. However the 1970 Thorpe Report
suggested that the National Standard should be 0.2 hectares / 1000 people.

Using the higher standard recommended by Thorpe would mean that Manchester
should provide at least extra 8.91 hectares giving a total required of 68.02 hectares.
This would mean Manchester providing an additional 316 plots.

The average allotment size in Manchester is 0.028 hectares which is equivalent to 30
sq feet or about the size of a large double bed!

To provide this much space for every person in Manchester would require 125
hectares of land. There is already 59.21 hectares of allotments provided. Therefore
Manchester would need to provide an additional 65.79 hectares. To give an idea of the
amount of land needed - Heaton Park is 260 hectares in size; thus we only land 25%
the size of Heaton Park spread across the whole city to achieve this level of provision.

Carol Kline of Gardener's World fame and more recently the Grow Your Own
programme on BBC illustrated the possibility of growing fresh vegetables all year
round for a small family on a bed just 3m square. 30 sq ft each is equal to 2.8 sq m.

For more information about allotments in Manchester please see the association of
Manchester allotments website:

Extra provision of allotments in Manchester – figures and
Description                      Number of plots                    Amount of land
NASLG                            20 plots / 1000 households (1      0.125 hectares / 1000
                                 plot / 200 people)                 people =13.45 sq ft per
Current Manchester provision     2098                               0.130 hectares / 1000
                                                                    people =13.99 sq ft per
Extra provision to meet Thorpe                                      0.134 hectares / 1000
Report standard                                                     people =14.96 sq ft / 1

Average size of Manchester       59.11 ha / 2098 (current number    0.02817 ha / plot
plot                             of plots)
How much more space should       0.28 hectares / 1000 people = 30   30 sq ft x 450,000
be provided.                     sq ft / 1 person                   people = 13,500,000 sq
                                                                    ft = 125 hectares.

Manchester Based Food Programmes –                         these two programmes
deserve special interest.

Food Futures – this is the Manchester food strategy and set out a number of values
and aims one of which is to protect the local and global environment; for details see

Making Local Food Work – is a Big Lottery Fund programme aiming to connecting
land & people through food through a number of initiatives many of which are
beneficial to the environment; for details see
Best Practice
The Glebelands - Unicorn Model: A Cooperative approach to
sustainable urban food supply
by Lesley Bryson, Andy Jones, Lawrence Beedle and Adam York

Despite the recent interest in food miles and local food, only a very small fraction of the
food consumed in Britain travels less than 30 miles. Glebelands is a pioneering urban
market garden project in Sale that supplies Unicorn Grocery in Chorlton, reducing this
distance to less than 5 miles.

Lesley Bryson and Adam York took over the site, in September 2001. The 3 Acre site
includes a polytunnel and glasshouse. The organic crops produced include 15 types of salad
leaf; Kale; Purple Sprouting Broccoli; Coriander; Spring Onion; Parsley; Rhubarb; Rocket;
Basil; Cavalo Nero; French, Runner and Broad Beans; and several varieties of: Chili,
Courgette, Squash, Spinach; Leaf Beet, Apple, and Cucumber.

The main focus is producing leafy and salad crops where freshness is a key issue: being able
to harvest for sale on the same day is therefore a major advantage. The main outlet is
Unicorn Grocery, a worker cooperative which opened a store in Chorlton in 1996. The shop
specialises in the provision of food with high nutritional standards, including plenty of fresh
and wholegrain produce, organics, and foodstuffs that have low or no sugar, gluten and
dairy content. At Unicorn, Glebelands produce is clearly labelled, with additional
information on food miles, organic production and fair trade made available to customers.

The relationship between Unicorn and Glebelands is mutually beneficial. The shop receives
high quality produce that is picked for sale on the same day, orders can be altered at short
notice and delivered within a few hours. The benefit to Glebelands is that the cost and time
associated with admin, distribution and marketing are minimised compared to the farmers'
market and box scheme approach.

The Glebelands/Unicorn model could be described as an experiment to discover how urban
food production, distribution and retailing systems can be structured and operate in order to
minimise environmental impact and ensure food security. The application of organic
methods, a co-operative structure and minimising the distance between producer and
consumer are key aspects of sustainable food supply.

However, the structure of food chains needs to be further transformed to adopt a circular or
closed loop metabolism - where external inputs as well as outputs in the form of solid and
liquid waste and air pollution are minimised.

At Glebelands: food waste from Unicorn is collected to be composted on site; crates used to
transport the produce are reused; and some of the products are sold in biodegradable bags,
salads are sold loose.

A Comparison
If Unicorn imported salads from southern Spain by truck this would require 26 times more,
or airfreighted produce from California 1300 times more transport fuel than sourcing from
Glebelands. The ratios for transport related carbon emissions are similar.

Lesley and Adam have worked extremely hard to achieve what they have, with virtually no
support from local and central government, while competing with cheap food sold at an
increasing multiple retailer presence in the city.

Realising only too well that the large supermarkets are cheaper for one reason: they don't
pay for the external social, environmental and economic costs they impose on society. A
decade ago, climate change was described by the media as being something that some
scientists predict could happen. We are now being told, on an almost daily basis, that we
need to tackle climate change without delay. The same thing will happen in terms of how we
perceive and respond to peak oil and natural gas. The price of a barrel of oil has trebled over
the last few years, the cost of nitrogen fertiliser rose by 30% last year and the vulnerability
of gas imports has been shown recently in the dispute between Russia and the Ukraine
If we are to ensure food supplies, local sourcing of organic produce will have to become
more widespread as sooner or later there will be a 'tipping point'.

This will be when increases in oil price or disruptions in supply will render the alternatives

The Mersey Valley, where Glebelands is situated, was once awash with market gardens
which supplied local wholesale markets and schools. This ended due to compulsory
competitive tendering, the shift to prepared and processed food and the emergence of the
multiple retailers. The consequence has been numerous environmental, economic and social
problems. The re-localisation of food supply in Manchester is now being advocated again in
a city-wide Food Futures Strategy.

However, the trends are worrying and in some cases alarming. If we consider lettuce, for
example, only 1% of lettuce consumed in the UK is produced organically. Since 1990
lettuce imports have increased by 120% and UK production fallen by 45% with UK self
sufficiency falling from 75% to 44% over the same period. In effect what we're doing is
moving towards most unsustainable option.

The Future
Glebeland has potential to inspire others - by demonstrating that local organic food supply
in cities is not only a desirable but a feasible option. If Glebelands receives the support it
deserves - to develop as a training and educational facility, generate renewable energy and
improve rainwater storage and irrigation on site - all the hard work will have paid off.
In terms of the future, quite simply, if there aren't many more Glebelands very soon, people
in towns and cities could have very empty stomachs.

For more information, see



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