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Author Topic: Sending Bath's dirty air to Wiltshire?  (Read 702 times)
grahame
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« on: March 06, 2021, 12:35:32 pm »

From Wiltshire Council

Quote
With less than two weeks until the launch of Bath's Clean Air Zone (CAZ (Clean Air Zone)), Wiltshire Council has shared its profound concerns over the impact it will have in Wiltshire.

The CAZ, which begins on 15 March, will see some vehicles that do not meet emission standards charged to enter some parts of Bath. Private cars will not be charged, but many trucks, lorries, vans and HGVs will have to pay a charge to enter the zone.

The council remains concerned that many drivers will look to avoid paying the charge, and will reroute through Wiltshire communities, aggravating existing problems with congestion and air quality.

To ensure these concerns are addressed by Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES) and Defra, the Leader of Wiltshire Council, Cllr Philip Whitehead, has written to his BANES counterpart, Cllr Dine Romero, to reiterate the council's request for monitoring in West Wiltshire to measure traffic volumes and ensure there is no detrimental effect on the air quality.

In response, BANES has offered support to "develop a joint approach to monitoring", but with less than two weeks to go until CAZ implementation, Wiltshire Council believes this is work that should have been completed during the CAZ planning stage.

Some of us have long been asking questions about Bath "offloading" ...
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2021, 01:58:15 pm »

The same sort of questions have been asked about other Clean Air Zones, and of Liveable Neighbourhoods. Motor traffic reduction looks like a game of whack-a-mole: as cars are squeezed out of one place, they pop up somewhere else.

Here in Bristol, TfGB have developed a fairly comprehensive traffic plan which keeps all through traffic on a few strategic roads. But people live along these roads! Should they pay the price so that the rest of us can have clean air and safe streets?

There are no easy answers here. The best hope is that motor traffic transfers to other modes, and that through the planning system we can make it easier for people to access what they need without having to get in a car. But for this, we need to reverse a nine-decade experiment to prove that the private car has massive limitations as a general mode of transport.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2021, 02:03:19 pm »

The answer might be for Wiltshire to introduce its own Clean Air Zone (CAZ (Clean Air Zone)). The longer term answer will be that higher standards should, regardless of rural CAZs or not, be applied by default because new vehicles will be made/sold to higher standards.

Edit - grahame - demonstrating adding acronyms
« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 08:49:19 am by grahame » Logged

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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2021, 02:59:54 pm »

The answer might be for Wiltshire to introduce its own Clean Air Zone. The longer term answer will be that higher standards should, regardless of rural CAZs (Clean Air Zone) or not, be applied by default because new vehicles will be made/sold to higher standards.

That would be the whack-a-mole approach!

Bear in mind that these CAZ's are temporary:

Quote
‘Where air quality has improved to the level required and there is evidence that this improvement would be maintained, the Government expects local authorities to remove the elements of the zone that are no longer required at the earliest opportunity.’
Source DEFRA/DfT» (Department for Transport - about) Clean Air Zone Framework

In theory they could only last two years.
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broadgage
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2021, 03:45:28 pm »

This to me looks like ANOTHER example of claiming to reduce pollution by trading/offsetting/moving it somwhere else, rather than by actually reduceing fuel used. Total fuel used will probably be increased as drivers take a longer route.

In another thread I have spoken in favour of increased taxes on road fuel, this would reduce use of same and thereby reduce pollution throughout the country, not just move it around.

More costly fuel leeds to
Less driving of private cars, with public transport, walking or cycling being used instead for some journeys.
Less driving of delivery vehicles with more use of full loads rather than multiple partly loaded vehicles.
Less idleing of engines, with a clear financial incentive to stop the engine.
Better maintenance of vehicles, remember that black smoke represents wasted fuel.
Fuel economy being a major factor when considering replacement vehicles.

Yet despite this there is considerable opposition to higher fuel prices, both within these forums and in the wider world.

And both TPTB (The Powers That Be) and ordinary citizens in Bath should welcome and encourage railway electrification, rather than delay and obstruct same.
I wonder how many people are campaigning for clean air AND for cheaper road fuel ?
Or campaigning for clean air AND against railway electrification ?

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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2021, 04:36:01 pm »

...ordinary citizens in Bath should welcome and encourage railway electrification, rather than delay and obstruct same.

Not that old chestnut again! WHACK!
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2021, 07:11:40 pm »

The answer might be for Wiltshire to introduce its own Clean Air Zone. The longer term answer will be that higher standards should, regardless of rural CAZs (Clean Air Zone) or not, be applied by default because new vehicles will be made/sold to higher standards.

That would be the whack-a-mole approach!

Bear in mind that these CAZ's are temporary:

Quote
‘Where air quality has improved to the level required and there is evidence that this improvement would be maintained, the Government expects local authorities to remove the elements of the zone that are no longer required at the earliest opportunity.’
Source DEFRA/DfT» (Department for Transport - about) Clean Air Zone Framework

In theory they could only last two years.
I did not know that. If it only lasts two years in Bristol, the council will have spent longer talking about it than operating it.
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broadgage
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2021, 07:15:59 pm »

But what happens after the two years ?
Does it mean that the clean air zone is abolished, or does it mean that it has to be re-approved, re-launched, applied to a slightly different area, or called something else?
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2021, 10:42:25 am »

Worth bearing in mind also that Wiltshire already sends its dirty air to Bath. It's estimated that up to 50% of urban air pollution originates from agriculture, in the form of particulates and NOx (but not, I think, so much CO or CO2) from activities such as spraying.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2021, 11:43:11 am »

Worth bearing in mind also that Wiltshire already sends its dirty air to Bath. It's estimated that up to 50% of urban air pollution originates from agriculture, in the form of particulates and NOx (but not, I think, so much CO or CO2) from activities such as spraying.

Actually, most of Bath's agripollution probably comes from North Somerset. Pollution tends to drift eastwards in Europe; that's why it's usually on the east side of towns that the poorer people live. This wasn't the case before the industrial revolution; you can sometimes find large Georgian villas in eastern suburbs, but like as not they're HMOs.

I note that BaNES sought funding to study the effects on their CAZ (Clean Air Zone) on Wiltshire, but were told that wasn't part of the deal.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2021, 01:19:19 pm »

Worth bearing in mind also that Wiltshire already sends its dirty air to Bath. It's estimated that up to 50% of urban air pollution originates from agriculture, in the form of particulates and NOx (but not, I think, so much CO or CO2) from activities such as spraying.

Actually, most of Bath's agripollution probably comes from North Somerset. Pollution tends to drift eastwards in Europe; that's why it's usually on the east side of towns that the poorer people live. This wasn't the case before the industrial revolution; you can sometimes find large Georgian villas in eastern suburbs, but like as not they're HMOs.
Clifton, of course, is on the west of Bristol. But then they developed Avonmouth... I'm not familiar enough with eg Liverpool or Glasgow to say but I presume they must have areas that similarly got 'caught out' by industrial development shifting coastwards. And I wonder if this was a contributing factor in Clifton's decline in the mid-20th century? It's recovered now, of course.

Quote
I note that BaNES sought funding to study the effects on their CAZ (Clean Air Zone) on Wiltshire, but were told that wasn't part of the deal.
Impressive that they asked, depressing that it was turned down.
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2021, 02:06:20 pm »

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I note that BaNES sought funding to study the effects on their CAZ (Clean Air Zone) on Wiltshire, but were told that wasn't part of the deal.
Impressive that they asked, depressing that it was turned down.

There are impressive elements to what BaNES are doing ... with a slight local irritation / frustration from the Wiltshire side that they are doing various things (Cleveland Bridge and failure to provide a better link between the trunk A46 and trunk A36 as well as clean air zone) which have the effect of exporting some of their problems / negative issues to us.

I am gobsmacked that Wiltshire has chosen now to raise its concerns - it strikes me a trying to shut the stable door when the horse, if not bolted, is pretty well out with just its arse stopping the door finally closing.  It could be that the concerns have previous been raise too, of course, but not made the headlines, though that's not how the story reads - it reads as if they have just woken up.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2021, 02:58:50 pm »

Various A46-A36 links, avoiding Cleveland Bridge in various ways, have been discussed since the 70s to my knowledge. Probably before that, but I wasn't around to hear of them.
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2021, 05:58:30 pm »

Yes, various ways have been tried, including that huge waste of money building a dual carriageway from the A46 to the A4 heading towards Chippenham. The anti-roads lobby love to trumpet this as classic waste of money on road building - they are right, but THEY caused this to be a waste of time and money. This was a golden opportunity to get the traffic out of Bath - but was totally wasted by caving in to the protestors.
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2021, 06:32:36 pm »

But from what I remember – and I was living in Bath in the early 90s – that was never intended to connect to the A36. There have been various plans which would have done that, such as a new road running down the eastern side of the Avon valley.
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