The Meeting (19 November 2018) was attended by over 100 local residents; an extraordinary turnout given the short notice available, reflecting a high level of local concern.
No one present criticised the CAZ policy in principle (to reduce the impact of vehicle emissions that are damaging health, particularly that of children and the aged) but many said its application meant exporting the ill health impacts of poor air quality to the densely populated Oldfield Park and other areas outside the proposed Zone. In addition, it will exacerbate the pressure on local road use, increasing congestion and danger. It was also expected that the CAZ would result in more intense ‘rat-run’ road use, as described in the MOCA flyer, creating additional access issues to local services.
The panel’s Council Cabinet Members (Cllrs. Tim Warren & Bob Goodman) said that a very large number of people had already responded to the Consultation (approx 6,000 ) and emphasised that people should respond to the consultation individually and be specific the changes they wish to see (eg identify roads they wish to include).
The Consultation closes on 26 November bathnes.gov.uk/breathe
The Cabinet members failed to explain why Oldfield Park had been omitted or protected from the proposed CAZ and its impacts.
It is clear that the Council is responding to central government pressure to meet legal obligations to meet long standing legal Air Quality standards with the threat of financial penalties if it fails. However B&NES proposals are not being joined up with City-wide road use and parking provision which are obviously indivisible from the issue of air quality. We know that the likely implementation of the Bear Flat Residents Parking Zone will export several hundred cars to other areas during the control periods for example. It’s also the case that the proposed development next door to Oldfield Surgery will increase pressure on Junction Road.
In short, the Council’s proposed CAZ policy is likely export poor air quality – and consequent ill health and deaths – from the city centre to surrounding high density residential areas, including schools, nurseries and surgeries without developing a sensible strategic plan for road use, car parking and road safety.
The Panel’s members were:
Tim Warren (Council Leader)
Bob Goodman (Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods)
Richard Samuel (Walcot ward)
Dine Romero (Southdown ward)The Meeting was chaired by Oldfield ward Councillor Shaun Stephenson-McGall