Cleaner air for Camden!

Cleaner air for Camden!

Camden Residents Association have got themselves a blog to join the fight against air pollution in Bath and fight for something to be done to save their area from increased traffic and poor air quality.

l have been to have a look and copy below a relevant part of their on-line campaign:

“Air quality in Bath is illegally poor and has to improve.  We believe Camden is more afflicted than is realised, and so demands special attention from the Council.image003

The extent of the traffic problem has been highlighted in the recently published report ‘Tackling Traffic Congestion and Poor Air Quality in NE Bath’ by the Camden Residents’ Association (CRA).image001

At peak times, Camden Road is over 50% as busy as the main arterial A4, the London Road, and yet it is a narrow, single track, residential street.  The full 1.5 mile rat run through both Larkhall and Camden draws in traffic not only from the East and North but also the South of the city.  This traffic passes three schools, uses constricted residential streets and threatens residents and the many commuting pedestrians with illegally poor air quality.  At non-peak times air quality recovers slightly, but most drivers exceed the 20 mph speed limit creating other safety issues.

Whilst accepting that poor air quality is a pressing Bath-wide issue the CRA delivered its report at a B&NES Cabinet meeting on 7th February and requested that the Council consider the area of NE Bath particularly carefully.image004

The evidence-based report is available to read or download on the association’s website www.camdenresidentsbath.co.uk and the shorter cabinet submission is available on their blog at https://camdenresidentsassociationblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/our-report-goes-to-cabinet-on-7th-february/

You can also subscribe to our blog, write a comment and offer support below.  We really look forward to hearing from you.

Get on with it!

Get on with it!

What is it with repair jobs in Bath? Months ago one of the toll houses on the Cleveland Bridge was rudely bashed by ‘hit and run’ merchants.

 

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Cleveland Bridge

 

It cannot be much fun living in somewhere covered in roof-supporting-scaffolding and canvas, but it has also been a nightmare for pedestrians trying to cross the busy road or try and walk alongside it.

 

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There’s a temporary central island at this point.

 

The Council has put in some temporary pedestrian-friendly arrangement – a temporary central island – to lessen the danger but for how long will this state of affairs have to continue.

 

We know there’s insurance to sort out and English Heritage to consult but this should be ‘fast-tracked’ as a matter of urgency and is most certainly an ever-present blot on the landscape.

 

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A wall waiting to be repaired

 

We have a smaller example of plodding officialdom in our street. A portion of wall has collapsed – surrounding a field to one side of our terrace. How long can it take to look up the owner in the Land Registry and get repairs moving?

Our narrow little rat run of a street is dangerous enough without this added obstacle.

Meanwhile, while we’re talking about Cleveland Bridge, Tony Howell writes:

“It’s not only the buildings. The centre of the road here (see photo below) has a DEEP groove in it. In this picture, you can just see the beginning of it.
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It runs longitudinally, it’s deep, and I frequently am almost thrown off my scooter. At night, for cyclists and m/cyclists it is a potential death trap.
One doesn’t wish to whinge, although one does, oft times, but there is no question that Bath is decaying before our eyes.
“Private Wealth, public squalor”.

 

Let’s talk Bath transport!

Let’s talk Bath transport!

Bath’s MP Wera Hobhouse will be in Larkhall in March – attending an open meeting where you can have your say about transport in Bath.

It’s being organised by Transition Larkhall on March 3rd at the New Oriel Hall, in Larkhall,  from 9.30 am to 2pm.
Poster for TL Travel Meeting
Joanna Wright tells Bath Newseum that the meeting is all about “thinking differently about travel in and around Bath. We want peoples’ ideas about transport in Bath.

Wera Hobhouse MP – and other political and campaign groups – will be present to
join the discussion about the future of travel in and around the city.

A professional facilitator will lead the discussion, focused on the idea of
thinking differently about travel in and around Bath.
We’ll be asking who is moving around and why are they moving that way. How do you travel, and how would you like to travel, around Bath? Let’s help create a transport vision for Bath.”

The event is free and open to all members of the public.  ‘Booking is
essential , says Joanna, as numbers of places are limited. Please RSVP* if you would like
to attend.’

Please send your details to Joanna Wright at
jojowright@postmaster.co.uk or to transitionlarkhall@gmail.com

*ALL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY YOUNG AND OLD WELCOME*

At a ​time​ of cuts – new bus route for Julian Road?

At a ​time​ of cuts – new bus route for Julian Road?

As bus users in Bath brace themselves for more cuts in services – are we about to see a new bus route passing through Julian Road?

Jenny Noad writes to tell me:

I walk to work along Julian Road and opposite the vets/newsagents there is a very handy bay where you can park for free for 30 mins to visit the laundrette/co-op/vet/Happy Days garden shop. I couldn’t believe it this morning when I saw BANES cones stopping cars from parking there due to a NEW BUS SHELTER being installed!
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The limited parking lay-by​ in Julian Road. Photowas taken​n by Jenny Noad.

Firstly, I have never, even seen a bus go along Julian Road, secondly a new bus shelter means a new bus route? With temperatures rising about impending bus cuts, (the 6A is being cut up the hill to my house in Fairfield Park) so a new bus route would enrage me!
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The no parking notice. The photo​ was taken by Jenny Noad.

Also, does that mean you have to park and pay now for just popping into the shops above ! I took photos if you want to see them! Thought you may know about this and could offer clarification! Sorry, I feel like Mrs Angry on a Happy Friday day 🙂
However, it seems we do have buses using that road.
A spokesperson for B&NES has told me:

“There are bus services running along Julian Road, and have been for many years. There are bus stops at regular intervals along the road.

Eastbound – Service 20C runs hourly to Bath city centre and University of Bath, service 701 runs hourly to Bath city centre and Oldfield Park, and service 700 runs four times a day to Bath city centre

Westbound – Service 20A runs hourly to RUH and Twerton, service 701 runs hourly to Sion Hill, and service 700 runs four times a day to Bath city centre

Full information on these and other buses is available on www.travelinesw.com . Real time information for these and most other buses in Bath is available on a smartphone app – full details at www.travelwest.info .”

Also, please scroll down through the comments below and you will learn more. Thanks to Virginia Knight and Arnold Root for their contributions.
Could a Swiss city show Bath the way?

Could a Swiss city show Bath the way?

Congestion campaigners in Bath have been watching a video – uploaded on Vimeo – which shows how the Swiss city of Zurich is dealing with its traffic problems.

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A still from the on-line Vimeo video produced by Streetfilms.

Entitled ‘Zurich: Where people are welcome and cars are not’ it is an interesting take on smart city planning to make living and working in a city much more of a pleasant experience.

I do suggest both officers and councillors at B&NES sit back and take note – and then get together and show that Bath can also do something radical.

Here’s the link:

The end of free parking? A bonus for B&NES, congestion and pollution.

The end of free parking? A bonus for B&NES, congestion and pollution.

Are  city-based Day Parking Zones one way in which B&NES could help balance the books and help ease congestion and tackle high levels of pollution.
It’s an idea being put forward by local road traffic campaigner Adam Reynolds – well known as a cyclist champion – and now coming up with a scheme that the cash-strapped council may well be taking seriously.
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Adam Reynold

I asked him to write a piece for Bath Newseum. Here it is:

“Cities around the world are beginning to recognise that free parking simply encourages people to use cars. Free parking creates air pollution and congestion for any city and this cost is born by the residents in health and time, and financially by businesses of that city.

In 2012 Nottingham began an experiment that placed a cost on parking. The Workplace Parking Levy. This levy has provided Nottingham with the funds to expand their public transport network and be the only city in the UK where car road miles travelled have decreased. It has been a phenomenal success and has received international recognition.
But Bath is a different beast. It’s small. In fact so small that it is the most walkable city in England and Wales with 43% of commuters walking to work, and that, in a nutshell creates a problem for out residential roads as attractive free parking facilities.
Day Parking Zones (1) (1)
With over 29,000 people commuting into the city by car, 9,000 of those commutes by Bath residents themselves, we know that free parking is encouraging people to use the car.
Day Parking Zones enable the council to charge day trippers and commuters while enabling residents free use of their roads. With a council financially on it’s knees, a huge air pollution crisis, and a congestion nightmare, we simply cannot continue to offer free parking to commuters. Day Parking Zones offer an world leading opportunity to deliver a radical shift in improving public transport while getting people out of their cars.
Further more, the city could charge more for diesel permits or even disallow diesels from parking in the city, requiring them to use park and ride. People talk about Clean Air Zones, but if you simply cannot park your diesel car in the city, or it costs you more, you will definitely consider getting a new cleaner car.
However this is not the only problem with the city. By 9 am on a weekday, only around 700 out of 2800 park and ride spaces are used. Yet if you look at where you can go from a Park and Ride site, your only option is the city centre. Our Park and Ride sites do not service the economic centres of the city, that is Locksbrook & the RUH, the City Centre, and the University of Bath campus.
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We cannot simply introduce Day Parking Zones and leave it at that. We must invest the revenue in creating a Key Bus Network that enables Bath residents to get to where they are working using public transport. We need to use the money generated from parking to lower the costs of bus travel. 81% of car commuters live within 20km of the city and we should get to the point where, if you choose to travel by bus or by car to the city within 20km, then it will cost you around £400 per year.
Using Day Parking Zone revenue to deliver a Key Bus Network and affordable public transport throughout the city and into our rural areas is key to delivering an integrated transport strategy that is fair for everyone. It might even stop the council axing 300 jobs and many critical services.
I will be speaking at the Communities, Transport, and Environment Scrutiny Panel today, council officers have been instructed by Cllr Charles Gherrish to investigate Day Parking Zones, and there are moves afoot to get an all-party group to look at this proposal.
Bath has an air quality problem of enormous proportions (http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/news/bath-news/premature-deaths-air-pollution-bnes-873180) and a huge financial hole in their budget which will radically cut council services. Day Parking Zones are the answer to this.”
Delighted to see the following on Twitter today. Looks like B&NES IS listening.
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Wedged in Westgate Street.

Wedged in Westgate Street.

The Council does little to help traders in the city’s Westgate Street.

I make no excuses for regarding it as one of the dirtiest, run down and traffic-choked thoroughfares in our World Heritage city.

A few years ago – l was told – they were thinking about pedestrianising it. It didn’t happen. It’s now a one-way street accommodating a two-way cycle run. Not a good idea.

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You couldn’t push a beer mat between these two lorries

It has so many broken kerb stones from HGV’s parking on the pavement they have had to fill the gaps with resin-infused tarmac!

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Cab to cab.

Last night l witnessed a massive Dutch lorry trying to get through. I am assuming the driver – who would not have known the city – was using Sat-Nav?

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The two lorries appear jammed together.

Remarkable pictures of two lorries wedged side by side.

The truck was forced onto the pavement – blocking pedestrians. No police or traffic wardens anywhere near – while l was there anyway.

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Words fail me!

This city appears to have no rules about deliveries. There always seems to be a van or lorry parked somewhere.

Here are some more recent images illustrating public transport having to cope with streets clogged with delivery lorries during the day.

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This bus driver managed eventually to get the bus through in Broad Street.

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It shouldnt have to be like this – should it?

Plus a tight squeeze for pedestrians in Westgate Street.

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Not much between lorries and pedestrians in Westgate Street. Not what l think of as ‘shared space!’

Wouldn’t it be better – and safer – to deliver before 10 am and after 6pm?