Bath final day Air pollution consulation

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jezer
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Re: Bath final day Air pollution consulation

Postby jezer » 29 Nov 2018, 4:07pm

We often go to Bath as we live quite close. We park in Batheaston free car park and walk in to the centre via Bailbrook or the K&A towpath. It makes a nice circular walk. Either that or take bikes on the rack and do it that way.
Power to the pedals

Pete Owens
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Re: Bath final day Air pollution consulation

Postby Pete Owens » 29 Nov 2018, 7:52pm

This is really good news.

Councils up and down the country have known that legal pollution limits were being breached in their areas for years, yet have failed to take any meaningful action due to fear of motorists. I'm sure the government's plan was to wait till we leave the EU - then legalise the poisoning. Now that Bath is finally leading the way and adopting effective measures other will hopefully follow.

Pete Owens
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Re: Bath final day Air pollution consulation

Postby Pete Owens » 30 Nov 2018, 1:24am

pwa wrote:Presumably the charge would apply to my own car going to the car park beside the Hilton, which I used recently. My wife and I stayed at the hotel for a couple of nights and parked the car in that car park. The car stayed there, unused, until we left. I wonder what we would have done if there had been a hefty charge for crossing a line.

The charge would only apply on the days that you were actually driving in the emission zone. So even if you still decide to drive to and from Bath rather than catch the train (the Hilton is a 10 minute walk from the station) you would have an incentive not to use it during your stay.
But looking at it more widely, Bath is often congested. I guess they won't be aiming charges at through routes that have no real alternatives, such as the A36. If they did that would displace traffic to other places.

Of course it will include the that. Through traffic is a major contributor to the pollution poisoning the population of Bath, so for the scheme to be effective it has to apply to the A36 (at least where it crosses the river). Indeed if it was exempt then local traffic would divert that way to avoid the charge thus generating even more pollution.

If Bath (or indeed anywhere) is going to seriously tackle pollution then that will of necessity involve the people causing the pollution to change their behaviour. Since that behaviour is dictated by what is most convenient for themselves, rather than the health of the people of Bath then that change will obviously result in some inconvenience to them. The whole point of the charge is to provide an incentive for them to balance their individual needs with those of the wider population. Indeed, if any council's pollution plan does not generate howls of anguish from whinging motorists then that is a sure sign that the plan will be ineffective.

Pete Owens
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Re: Bath final day Air pollution consulation

Postby Pete Owens » 30 Nov 2018, 1:48am

pwa wrote:https://www.google.com/maps/@51.4018433 ... 6?hl=en-GB
Imagine the queues! :lol:
£9 or 20p.

And given that bridge is a fairly long single lane then the volume of traffic that could possibly divert that way is minimal. The available capacity isn't sufficient to dent the effectiveness of the scheme. Also the weight limit will rule it out for most of the vehicles that the scheme is aimed at.

pwa
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Re: Bath final day Air pollution consulation

Postby pwa » 30 Nov 2018, 8:47am

As a frequent visitor to Bath I can see why locals are concerned enough to consider a charging zone. Even as a visitor I find the traffic oppressive sometimes. On my last visit I stayed overnight and wanted a secure car park so didn't use my usual option of the Park and Ride. I entered the central zone, parked the car, and drove out 48 hours later. Probably 15 minutes driving inside the zone and on the face of it that would have cost £18. I'd have found a quiet street in the outer areas and parked up there, followed by a walk in. My wife did investigate the cost of using the train about a month before our visit, we laughed at the price and drove instead. When we got there we did not use the car at all. We did a lot of walking, which is our thing.

But Bath has a peculiar road layout that means traffic wishing to pass the city, rather than stop there, does not have the option of bypassing the centre. Residents of Warminster and Frome must pass very close to the centre just to make their way to the M4, a situation they probably regret every single time they do it. Nobody enjoys being stuck in the traffic there even as things are. But, ridiculous as it is, the meeting of the A36 and A46 is an important part of the regional road network that lack of investment has allowed to remain within the built up, densely populated centre of Bath. If you went out and asked the people most affected, the residents of London Road, I bet they would welcome a long overdue new junction of those two roads being made somewhere out of town. And yes, combine that with charging for vehicles entering the central area.

I know there are no pain free solutions, and I'm still thinking about this. The charging ICE car solution will be fairly pain free for those who like to feel superior in their £40k+ Teslas, but possibly a disaster for a hard pressed family relying on a more humble car to get to work in a place not easily reached by public transport. The wealthy will adapt easier than the poor. £9 would be a lot for someone making their way to a modestly paid job. I wonder if a more sophisticated charging regime might be possible, more accurately related to the time spent in the zone and moving. So if you get around the A36/46 junction in ten minutes, that is what you are charged for. Whatever the rate is for ten minutes, rather than a blanket £9 for any amount of time upto 24 hours.

Jon Lucas
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Re: Bath final day Air pollution consulation

Postby Jon Lucas » 30 Nov 2018, 1:19pm

A lot of the points mentioned above will have been fed into the responses to the consultation, and a final decision on the proposal will be made by the full council. It is worth noting that when the original proposal was made, it was for a smaller charging zone, and it was comments from residents which brought about the enlarged proposed zone, which now includes most key junctions to reduce rat running.

Regarding the comments about the proposal for a Link Road between the A36 and A46, which has been discussed for at least 30 years, it is worth noting that nearly 90% of traffic on London Road is actually just heading into the city and is not through traffic. So if it was ever built, which I would judge to be extremely unlikely (and would bring about huge protests), London Road would see little benefit and would very quickly fill with more traffic. Although the city does not have a formal by-pass, it does have the M4 to the north which effectively is a by-pass for the city, linking to the M5, and for journeys to Frome and elsewhere to the south, there are plenty of rural main roads avoiding the city altogether.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Bath final day Air pollution consulation

Postby Bmblbzzz » 30 Nov 2018, 9:32pm

Pete Owens wrote:This is really good news.

Councils up and down the country have known that legal pollution limits were being breached in their areas for years, yet have failed to take any meaningful action due to fear of motorists. I'm sure the government's plan was to wait till we leave the EU - then legalise the poisoning. Now that Bath is finally leading the way and adopting effective measures other will hopefully follow.

This to the max. :D Surprising in some ways that it's Bath to do it.

brynpoeth
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Re: Bath final day Air pollution consulation

Postby brynpoeth » 30 Nov 2018, 9:39pm

Has it happened yet? Bath seems a suitable place
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pwa
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Re: Bath final day Air pollution consulation

Postby pwa » 1 Dec 2018, 11:43am

Jon Lucas wrote:A lot of the points mentioned above will have been fed into the responses to the consultation, and a final decision on the proposal will be made by the full council. It is worth noting that when the original proposal was made, it was for a smaller charging zone, and it was comments from residents which brought about the enlarged proposed zone, which now includes most key junctions to reduce rat running.

Regarding the comments about the proposal for a Link Road between the A36 and A46, which has been discussed for at least 30 years, it is worth noting that nearly 90% of traffic on London Road is actually just heading into the city and is not through traffic. So if it was ever built, which I would judge to be extremely unlikely (and would bring about huge protests), London Road would see little benefit and would very quickly fill with more traffic. Although the city does not have a formal by-pass, it does have the M4 to the north which effectively is a by-pass for the city, linking to the M5, and for journeys to Frome and elsewhere to the south, there are plenty of rural main roads avoiding the city altogether.

My journey to Frome was from South Wales, so by the M4. What alternative route from the M4 to Frome could you suggest? I did look into it at the time and found none, other than a long detour around Chippenham. Or the Batheaston toll road, which I did use sometimes. Driving down London Road to get to the A36 is hardly a rat run. It is the main road route. Fortunately I don't go to Frome these days so for me it is an academic matter. But for residents of Frome this could be a paywall between them and the M4.