Air Quality in various parts of Bath fails to comply with legal requirements.  BANES has engaged on a consultation process with the aim of  improving air quality in Bath and its proposals are available here.  PERA has now reviewed the consultation and  attended some of the early public meetings. PERA’s recommendations and the actions it has taken to date can be found on this page.

Background

Air Quality in various parts of Bath fails to comply with legal requirements. BANES is required by government to implement measures by 2021 to reduce levels of nitrogen oxides, one of the most significant pollutants. This will affect all residents in Bath but especially those in our area.  Initial proposals were published by BANES in April.  A consultation document with more detailed proposals is to be published in October and there will then be a period for submission of comments by the public and other interested parties.

Any member who has questions, concerns or comments is welcome to email Ceris Humphreys, our Committee Lead on Air Quality and the Clean Air Zone .

BANES proposals

BANES’ proposals are available at http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/bath-breathes-2021.  The proposals consist of (i) charging measures – a “clean air zone” (CAZ) where a charge will be incurred by certain categories of polluting vehicles – see map below, and (ii) non-charging measures – such as those to improve support for cycling and use of public transport.

 

Clean Air Zone – proposed boundary

BANES is seeking comments on its proposals.  It is specifically seeking comments on the categories of vehicle to be subject to the CAZ charge – that is:

–  Class B CAZ – higher emission HGVs/taxis/coaches only , or

–  Class C CAZ – class B plus higher emission vans, or

–  Class D CAZ – classes B and C plus higher emission private cars.

A copy of a BANES summary information leaflet can be found here. Members are encouraged to look out for information meetings that will be advertised on the Breathe 2021 webpages over the next few weeks.

PERA Committee’s recommendations and proposed course of action

We believe that the interests of PERA members would be best served by seeking to have the CAZ extended to cover the entire Pulteney Estates area, ideally extending beyond the A36 to include Beckford Road and Sydney Road, and by seeking to have the widest range of vehicles included (a Class D CAZ).

This will prevent our area becoming a drop-off point and parking location for higher emission coaches and cars who want to avoid the CAZ charge.  More generally, this will give a much greater improvement in air quality for those of our members who live on or near the main roads than would the smaller CAZ currently proposed.

We are mindful that some members will have older higher emission vehicles.  However, it is likely to be more than two years before the CAZ is implemented, and one possibility envisaged is that there would be a “sunset period” during which such residents with higher emission cars would not be required to pay the charge.  We consider that the disadvantages of the current CAZ proposals to our area would be very significant and clearly outweigh the downsides.

Therefore, in submissions to BANES we have argued for extension of the proposed CAZ boundary beyond the A36 to the top of Sydney Gardens to include Beckford Road and Sydney Road, and for a sunset period for private cars after CAZ implementation. For example a sunset period of two years would, with the period from now to implementation, likely give a total period of five years in which cars may be replaced before the CAZ bites on higher emission private cars.

PERA’s analysis and the reasons for our conclusions can be found here.

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