CAZ first consultation report
B&NES have announced today (click here) that the response to the consultation has been unprecedented with more than 8,400 questionnaires, letters and emails returned in what is thought to be the largest response ever received by the council in a consultation on a specific issue.
The main findings are:
- Almost 20 per cent of the responses came in the last few days of the consultation so this must make finalising the analysis very challenging. So unsurprisingly more time is now needed to analyse fully the feedback and undertake further statistical and financial modelling work. It recommends a further report with fully costed and modelled options, including mitigations, be reported back to the cabinet as soon as reasonably possible. This now looks like March, rather than December, so this gives us a new and further opportunity to push for our specific needs.
- The main themes and issues include:
- rat running around the zone
- parking in residential areas outside the proposed zone
- suggestions for a bigger zone
- proposals for mitigations for those residents and businesses most impacted by the proposal including public transport measures
- poor air quality is also caused by transiting traffic, tourism and the topography of the city, not just residents.
- It recommends a further report with fully costed and modelled options, including mitigations, be reported back to the cabinet as soon as reasonably possible.
Our initial CRA response to this, which might get amended when the new Committee meet later this week, is as follows:
Some important issues we’ve raised have not been covered, so it is a bit of a curate’s egg. Dealing first with the issues which were listed:
- Rat-running: the modelling in the reports published on October 16th suggest that the Fairfield Road rat-run, according to the model won’t be used very much. It would be important to test the assumptions behind this as it seems unlikely.
- Parking just outside the zone is a strong potential problem. FoBRA in their response did not major on this regrettably. However Richard Samuel, Walcot councillor, did at our AGM and supported our view that increasing the extent of controlled parking and making it 24×7 provides far better targeting than enlarging the CAZ.
- Mitigations. Three of us met (including two young mothers) with the project team and were quite impressed with the care going into helping both low income households and those serving the disabled, as well as commuting employees who cannot afford to live in Bath.
Now for our issues and ideas which were not listed, the CRA put in their final submission during the late ‘20% flurry’ so we must make sure these don’t get lost. Click here to read the submission sent in after our AGM on 22nd November and just before the deadline of the 26th.
- The most obvious question has not been reported upon – are people generally for or against? Our soundings suggest they are ‘for’, for public health reasons, but we would like this confirmed and therefore the project team is definitely recommending going ahead with a Class D CAZ?
- Transiting visitor traffic: Nothing has been said about an Eastern P&R which is glaring gap. We know that there will be some improvements on the A420 junction with Freezinghill Lane but Lansdown P&R is not an obvious or convenient choice for drivers from the M4 or Box
- The experience of using P&Rs needs to improve for them to be attractive to both chargeable and non-chargeable car drivers
- Definitive direction must be provided at the extremities of the NE Bath rat run, as described in our report from earlier this year, and all along the London Road from the main Alice Park roundabout to avoid drivers, both aware and unaware of the impending restrictions, from attempting to use the Camden rat run
- Reinstatement, if not improvement, of the bus services serving NE Bath
- Cycle routes need to be made safer by routing them away from heavy traffic. We provided various ideas for this
- Hardened commuters could be encouraged to share cars with alternate day access to the city centre.