Too much stick

‘Too much stick and not enough carrot,’ says Bath MP Wera Hobhouse in her first official comment on the B&NES Clean Air Zone proposals.
Bath MP Wera Hobhouse – pictured recently campaigning in the streets of the city.
In a press release she says:
“We must act urgently to address pollution and transportation issues in Bath. I support a Clean Air Zone. However, in its current form the Clean Air Zone proposed by the Tory-led Council creates some serious challenges. We need an integrated, holistic transport network with viable alternatives. There’s too much stick, and not enough carrot.”

“We must all take responsibility for our actions, but people who may struggle financially to replace their polluting vehicle are put in a particularly difficult position. The Council need to offer them viable alternatives or support.”

“There is also the very real risk of rat runs through communities outside the border of the Clean Air Zone, as well as the threat of excessive parking in these areas, as commuters seek to beat the charge. I would encourage them to look again at the size of the scheme.

“Nationally this has been entirely mishandled. Central government are facing huge fines if they don’t act, but they have simply passed their problem onto cash-strapped local authorities. Although there is money to set up a Clean Air Zone, 10% of the income must go back to Treasury, leaving less money for ill-equipped local councils.”

“I thoroughly encourage all residents to take part in the month long consultation period, and make your views heard. This is a hugely important change in our city, we have to deliver cleaner air for everyone’s sake, but we have to do it having listened to the views of residents, workers and visitors alike.”