Diesel Smoke

Transition Bath’s Representations to the Communities, Transport, Environmental Policy and Scrutiny Panel

On Monday 13th March Transition Bath was represented at this B&NES commitee meeting by Gill Risbridger and Adam Reynolds (also of CycleBath). A written version of Gill’s presentation appears here.

The meeting covered a wide variety of subjects including the new Bath Quays Cycle and Pedestrian Bridge, Transport Planning, Air Quality and the Churchill pedestrian underpass.

Some notes from the meeting:

  • Adam asked what had happened to the original £2.5million funding for the bridge before CAF2 funding was acquired: Councillor Clarke, Council member for Transport said he didn’t know, but would investigate
  • Richard Samuel then asked for a proper transport census to better understand why people were driving in Bath and thus causing congestion. Transition Bath wholeheartedly agree with this request as we feel it is ineffective to make Transport policy in the absence of evidence
  • Gill called for a Clean Air Zone, as the only way to reduce pollution in the city, the current B&NES Council plan will not make a big enough impact. She also questioned the council assessed 7% impact on congestion from schools traffic, compared with the 20% national average (and the 50% from the recent Transition Larkhall traffic survey)
  • When Gill was asked by the council what the most important thing which could be done, she said that a complete ban on diesel vehicles in the centre and a partial ban elsewhere would have the biggest impact
  • Sian James, from the Bathampton Meadows Alliance asked that the upcoming air quality consultation was transparent in order for it to be meaningful
  • Churchill roundabout underpass: a case was made for replacing it with an street level crossing by Jacqui Hughes,n and Councillor Ian Gilchrist, following sight/desire lines from Wells Road/Holloway across the the centre of town. A council officer then outlined the council’s 3 options which excluded a street level crossing, but the councillors voted against a street level crossing
  • Council officers outlines the air quality action plan (complete by October) and consultation (May). NOX apportionment information was presented – something Transition Bath has already told the council is completely flawed as it uses official government emissions figures rather than real-world figures (Volkswagen scandal)
  • There was an explanation about why a Defra bid for funding had failed – mainly because Bath is too small compared with the other cities applying
  • The Air Quality officer was unable to answer Richard Samuel’s earlier question about evidence for why people drove down the London Road and the lack of census information
  • Councillor Clarke blamed the high air pollution on the lack of a Bath bypass, said he would look at a clean air zone, but thought the priority was to press ahead and build both east-west and north -south bypasses (TB asks – is there evidence building more roads reduces congestion?). He also said the Bus Services Bill will provide the council with more control over buses. He is also pushing licenses only to be granted for non-diesel taxis. A parking review is about to start.
  • Neil Butters asked about the impact the new regional mayor will have on Transport Policy?
Posted in Transport.