Showcasing a new model for public markets
On Tuesday January 23, Fare City launched its new report Cleaner Air Markets, Pioneering a future model for public markets, at the Coin Street Conference Centre in London. The report provides details of an innovative pilot programme which Fare City and its project partners conducted at London’s Maltby Street Market between January and July 2022. The pilot aimed to enable the traders of a working market to trial zero tailpipe emission modes of transport in favour of their regular internal combustion engine cars and vans. The reason for doing so was to help the market reduce its contribution to local air pollution, cut its carbon emissions, and to improve customer accessibility and inclusivity. The report details the findings of the trial and outlines how other markets can transition to Cleaner Air Markets.
The hybrid report launch brought together a range of stakeholders including policy makers, practitioners, market managers, and traders, as well as the project’s partners, and funders. Fare City director, Richard Lambert, introduced the project before handing over to London Assembly Member and Economy Committee Chair, Hina Bokhari. Bokhari spoke about her work on the assembly and her role as committee chair which has led her to consider both the role of public markets and how sustainable modes of transport, such as cargo bikes, can help service them:
“This is a project that is going to be the future for our street markets… markets have been hit by the pandemic, by Brexit, by the cost-of-living crisis, we need to come up with something that’s exciting, something that makes a difference and something that makes economic and financial sense, this is why I think this is the way forward.“
Lambert then introduced London Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues. Rodrigues spoke about London’s fight for clean air, the upcoming London-wide expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone, and the need for more innovative projects to show how London can respond to the triple challenge of air pollution, carbon emissions and traffic congestion:
“I really want people to consider the impacts that Fare City have shown in this report about moving to a cargo bike or an electric vehicle for your business, these are huge benefits that have been shown in the report and really ones that we would like to see spread across London to all the other markets as well.“
A report film was premiered at the event which set out how the team trialled the Cleaner Air Market at Maltby Street, while recommending how further Cleaner Air Markets could be established. The film introduced several of the participating traders and highlighted the challenges and opportunities that they had experienced throughout the course of the project. Animations demonstrated the carbon emission savings of trader’s trial trips, as well as illustrating how different Cleaner Air Market models could look and be implemented.
Fare City Managing Director, Charles Critchell, then chaired an expert panel: What will promote or prohibit the rollout of Cleaner Air Markets across the UK? Featuring five panellists including two market managers, a trader, an accessibility expert, and the co-founder of a cargo bike logistics company, the 30-minute panel discussion was then followed by both in-person and online questions. The panel considered three themes; Participation and buy-in – why would similar organisations buy into Cleaner Air Markets? Engagement and trials – how did engagement encourage and enable new ideas? and Replication and scalability – how else could Cleaner Air Markets be implemented? Panellist insights included:
“I think a lot of traders are thinking about this stuff and we’ve proven a lot of things [at Maltby Street], we’ve learnt a lot, and I think either in the form of a report or sharing the evidence of what has been done to highlight potential outcomes could help provide traders with a pathway, such as trialling cargo bikes…if you can make a case for what the future could look like then it might be worth a go.“
Pri Balachandran, Trader, Kamala Street Food
“There will be some traders at my market [Walthamstow Market] who will want to switch to zero tailpipe emission modes, but there have to be some incentives for them to do it…they want to see tangible benefits such as increased footfall and operating systems that they understand, it’ll take a few to start and I think slowly others will catchup.“
Abdul Komor, Street Trading Manager, Walthamstow Market
“You can’t put the risk on to individual businesses to make a [transport] change they don’t understand you need to allow them to dip their toes into the water by funding a service so that it isn’t a huge expense for them to change.“
Chris Dixon, Co-founder, Pedal Me
“With market accessibility, just like everything else, you’ve got to make the business case for changing your way of operating. In fact making a street market accessible isn’t that hard as long as people are willing to do it…being onsite, getting to know the people there and opening the conversation to trader’s point of view as opposed to just saying ‘you have to do this’ is a great way of gaining that buy in.”
Isabelle Clement, Director, Wheels for Wellbeing
“This project felt like a leap into the future, a glimpse of what could be, so the idea of creating a policy for markets is fantastic with people achieving an accreditation through policies designed to help them transition to Cleaner Air Markets.”
Ian Banfield, Manager, Maltby Street Market
Fare City would like to thank Maltby Street Market and its traders for participating in the Cleaner Air Market trial, along with project partners Pedal Me, Wheels for Wellbeing, Mums for Lungs, Clean Cities Campaign, and project funders the Foundation for Integrated Transport. For anyone considering trialling a Cleaner Air Market, please contact Fare City director, Rich Lambert at email@example.com for more information.
A full recording of the event can be found here
The full report can be found here