Reading through the last monthly report I’m struck by how much has happened since then.  At this time last month we were still awaiting the publication of the Council’s “Clean Air Plan: Strategic Outline Case”.  We got it soon after – all 139 pages.

  • Click on the video above for the two minute cartoon
  • Click here for the just released polished version and click on the video
  • Click here for the best potted written version.

In essence the plan defines several things:

  • It has to clean up the air in Bath by reducing nitrogen dioxide in the air we breathe to European legal levels by 2021.  There is no choice in the matter as it is imposed by a High Court Direction.  To achieve this all measures will have to be in place by 2020 – so not long now
  • It will do this primarily by introducing a clean air zone (CAZ) around Bath city centre, into which high emissions vehicles will be charged to enter and thereby deterred.
  • There will be other measures to back this up and ameliorate inconvenience caused.  Camden Residents Association needs to ensure NE Bath get the most benefit from this and spots any unfortunate unintended consequences arising.
  • The final plan has to be submitted to central government by December this year at the latest.  In the ensuing period there is time to challenge and influence the final plan.

Why should I be bothered, you might ask?  We think it is worth it, for six reasons:

  1. There are legal and reputational consequences for the Council if the plan does not deliver, so it has to succeed and there will be change
  2. Done in one way, Camden Residents will gain a lot for little sacrifice.  Done in another, we might be worse off
  3. There will be sacrifices to make but benefits too.  We need to get this balance right.  At the moment the committee is strongly supportive of the CAZ
  4. The Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will cross Camden Road.  Some of us will be inside and some outside.  We will need to understand what this means for our daily lives
  5. The changes for the better should give us a less congested road
  6. Above all this will clean up the dirty air we all breathe at the moment.

The CRA Committee is keeping its eye on the ball all the time and meeting monthly.  We keep alert, prod and lobby, and we think we’ve had some success already.  It’s nice to see that:

  1. the 20mph road-markings have been re-painted.  The need for this was pointed out in our report to the Council last January
  2. the CAZ now includes Camden Road which stops it being a rat run which we’ve lobbied hard for this month.

We endeavour to keep you informed, week by week, through posts on this blog – so do follow us via email entering your email address on the top right hand side of this page.

Some of my committee colleagues think I have a one track mind on the CAZ plan – they’re probably right!   There is other news too, on a Hedge mead Park picnic here in July and an impending litter swoop as well as most of the content from the main web-site now appearing on the menu bar at the top of this page.

Jeremy Labram, Chair CRA.

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