BreATHe is the cute name for the programme of work B&NES has been compelled to start as a result of the recent High Court Direction. It has to yield results by 2021 so the solution has to be possible within this timeframe. The Council do appear to be in earnest and the quality of the work from them and their consultants looks very good.
To keep in touch with all that’s going on and what it means, the best place to start is here on the web-site:
http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/bath-breathes-2021/frequently-asked-questions and look out for the listing on the right hand side which takes you to all the relevant documentation.
Pivotal to the plans is the possible ‘game changer’ of a small ‘Clean Air Zone’ (CAZ) which will mean polluters will pay to travel within the zone. There are two sliding scales:
- whether the small zone extends a little further to be more effective
- how many types of polluting vehicle will be charged.
For measures to be truly effective and give us safe air to breathe, change could be necessary for everyone who uses motorised transport in Bath. So, that’s not just visitors and commuters, but local residents too.
The Camden Residents Association is concerned for the whole of NE Bath. At first glance it looks necessary to:
- go for the extended small zone to avoid creating yet more rat-runs for those wanting to avoid paying the charge
- charge owners of high emission cars and vans in order to reduce the traffic and fumes we experience now and in the future.
Were this the approach adopted, then many of us will end up in the zone with chargeable cars. It will then be a matter of how much we value an improved and legal level of air quality as well as the consequent traffic calming, weighed up against some loss of personal convenience. Hence the ensuing consultation from now.
I’ll finish with a misquote from Barack Obama: “While we breathe, we will hope”.
Jeremy Labram, Chair