Calling out this misinformation on the Walcot Ward Liveable Neighbourhood bid

10 Responses

  1. Patrick Rotheram says:

    Joe Schofield is not the only one of your neighbours who is concerned about the impact of an LTN in Camden. The Vineyards Residents’ Association, which I chair, is extremely concerned about the potentially increased traffic congestion and air pollution in our area. Air pollution here has only recently dropped to (just) below the legal limit and it would take only a small increase in traffic to push it back over the limit. While we understand CRA’s desire for less traffic in your area (air pollution is well below the legal limit), this should not be at the expense of residents elsewhere.
    The figure of 7,000 vehicles a day passing through the Camden area is a Council figure which was incorporated in a CRA paper. Whether or not a more accurate figure would be ‘just over half that’ (4,000?), that is still a large amount of traffic, most of which would be displaced onto London Road (and then through the centre) if the route through Camden was cut off. The idea that this traffic will just vanish through ‘evaporation’ is wishful thinking. Even the proponents of LTNs claim only about a 15% reduction from ‘traffic evaporation’. Even that is questionable in Bath, given the hills (which are a deterrent to walking and cycling) and lack of alternative routes.
    Rather than assertions, we need a proper traffic analysis of the potential displacement effects of an LTN before a trial scheme is introduced (trials have a way of becoming permanent!). We have yet to see details of the ‘Walcot LTN’, but it’s difficult to see how major displacement onto London Road and through the centre could be avoided without a comprehensive plan to manage and reduce traffic entering and passing through the city. Unfortunately, the Council has been reluctant to address this.

    • Jeremy says:

      Hi Patrick,

      Let’s be clear, Joe Scofield, we believe, is not a neighbour, probably living over two miles from us. You are however, and are concerned about traffic congestion and air pollution in your area. We are similarly concerned about that too, as well as road safety, with pavements completely inappropriate for the amount of traffic and its speed – this applies to Camden Road, Chiltern Road, Tyning Lane, Snow Hill, Bennett Lane, as well as Upper and Lower Hedgemead Road. As a regular user of Roman Road I don’t have that issue at all with wide elevated pavements on both sides.

      As for levels of air pollution, what pollutants are you referring to and on what basis can you make any assertions over Camden Road? Can you confirm that you are referring to Anglo Terrace for your area’s figures? If so this point is situated prior to both the junctions of Cleveland Place and London Street, at which much traffic peels off. It would be dubious to be using those figures.

      We can quibble over traffic numbers which are all estimates and vary day by day, from year to year. They constantly surprise me with their fluctuations and unpredictability. The ‘proper analysis’ for which you ask is impossible to conduct with any certainty as there is not even a steady base state, and that’s before predictions as to driver behaviours with new constraints in place could be overlayed. Hence the next best thing – for Experimental Traffic Orders which include safeguards for all. This could well explain why you get no traction from successive council administrations for your analysis notion.

      We would both agree that ‘evaporation’ of traffic is nonsensical, but I’m prepared to have faith in ‘modal shift’, for which there is some evidence. This might take other measures and time for driver behaviours to change but it’s a worthwhile experiment. Most of Bath is accessible on foot or by pedal power to most, but not all, people and Camden Road is served by a very frequent bus service which is woefully under-utilised. So there is considerable capacity for change in the right direction which a trial might well reveal. To be quite candid, today we very untypically drove through Bath were reminded how quick it is to move around the city in comparison to London say – this is a function of its small size and the relative shortness of traffic queues. Even the classic Camden Road cut through only saves 3 minutes at peak from keeping on the London Road route but that is enough to make people do it and get very frustrated and speed when they don’t get a straight run through.

      I also agree and support any attempts to limit through traffic (ie traffic which emanates from elsewhere and is simply passing through the city to go somewhere else from Bath). Such traffic is quite irrelevant to the economic activity of the city but puts a real cost onto the upkeep and lessens the value of the experiencing of a world heritage site. I also could draw useful parallels with Florence (and Venice too) which has a central railway station which is the advised and preferred way of entering the city for tourists where parking is made extremely expensive. Parking and (train riding) has much potential still in it, with three rail routes serving it.

  2. Ashley Rawlings says:

    I would like to object to the proposed “Liveable Neighbourhood” application that you have apparently submitted without consultation to people in Fairfield Park, Larkhall, Julian Road and Snow Hill which are all seriously affected by your proposed scheme.

    My reasons for objection are as follows:

    The proposal is discriminatory against the following residents (who seem to have been ignored).

    • The poor and disadvantaged. If you look at the area that your scheme would benefit then it can be argued that the rich are forcing pollution and congestion onto the poor and disadvantaged. The last few houses I have seen for sale on Camden have had price tags exceeding £1,000,000. If you look at Fairfield park you will find the average house price less than half of this and Snow Hill is mostly (but not exclusively) Social Housing. This scheme seems to be designed for the liberal elite to force extra pollution and congestion into areas that are already well over the WHO guidelines for pollution.
    • Ethnic minorities. Camden is mostly (in my opinion) white, middle class (there is nothing wrong with this as I would regard myself as white middle class as well) whereas at least as far as Snow Hill is concerned has a far more diverse racial make-up. Again this scheme must be seen in the context of racist imposition of yet more pollution and congestion on minorities to bolster and embed the superiority in health outcomes of the white community. I feel that this is abhorrent and Bath Council should hang their head in shame.
    • The residents of Larkhall. As most particulate pollution in urban areas is now emitted by wood burning and multi fuel stoves (whether compliant with Clean air regs or not) the pollution from Camden will descend on the residents of Larkhall as the prevailing winds are from the West. A compromise could perhaps be accepted here in that any house in Camden with a wood burning stove would have to sign a pledge to remove them within 6 months or less.
    • The obese and mobility impaired. I find your road closures to all but pedestrians, cyclists and buses will have disastrous consequences for this group of people. If you look at your suggestion of electric bicycles for all people passing through the zone then I can say that I have yet to find an electric bicycle that is recommended for a load over 100 kilos. As a growing prop forward of 110 kilos then the option of electric bike propulsion does not seem to be open to me and I would argue that the mobility impaired would also find it extremely difficult to use an electric bike. It may be my fault that I am fat, but do you really believe that is a reason to discriminate against me.
    • The old. My mother in law is 82 and often uses Camden to “pop to the shops” or the “bank” in town. She has not cycled for many years and as you know the current restrictions on public transport has imbued fear in many of our older citizens.

    These are my main reasons for objecting. Do the Liberal Democrats really want to be seen as the party that perpetuates privilege within the city of Bath? I really hope not! However not to be too negative I have the following list of proposed compromises that if implemented would probably get the support of the poor, disadvantaged, ethnic minorities, Larkhall residents, obese, people with mobility issues and the old.

    Some proposed compromises.

    • Allow access into and through the zone by car, van, lorry or motorcycle for all registered within say a quarter of a mile of Camden Road. This should address concerns of local residents of Fairfield Park, Snow Hill, Julian Road and Larkhall about access.
    • Instead of cameras on ugly street furniture then have local, unemployed or under employed checking who is coming and going. They do not need to stop everyone, but just some (say one in a hundred). I suggest these guardians are paid by Bath City council by a levy raised from resident parking charges along Camden. This would make it self-financing and provide much needed work for the homeless of Bath.
    • Introduce a rule that says that all residents of Camden must remove their wood burning stoves within 6 months of the introduction of the Liveable neighbourhood schemes to protect the quality of life of the residents of Larkhall.

    • Jeremy says:

      Hello again, Ash.
      Your comment looks like something you have written before and about which we have debated over the phone fairly recently
      We did not submit a bid for consideration, the ward councillors did, and we understand it did not contain any solutions. It was much more about the difficulties we all face in Camden and Walcot more generally.
      As for e-bikes to suit people of your weight then the following web-site points me to exactly what you are looking for (pardon the web-page address – nothing I can do about that! –

      As for wood burners emitting most pollution, please refer to the the annual Council air quality report, page 3, which entirely contradicts that:

      • I Plain says:

        No sorry , Woodburners need to banned
        have a read of this from December



        Read this, ‘But even the best stoves still emit air pollution, in their biomass report, the Air Quality Expert Group found that burning wood in an Ecodesign stove was similar to the emissions from SIX Euro V1 HGVs.’ and now say the smell of wood fires along camden road on a cold night is acceptable on all the people living below Camden Rd.
        You don’t see an issue with SIX HGVs ticking over outside your house I guess.

        Finally defra disagree with you as well
        “38 per cent of PM2.5 in the UK comes from domestic wood-burners and open fires, according to research from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs”

        Not one group agrees with your view on woodburning and open stoves.

        and that is before you consider some of the wood that is burned, Because of the chemicals used during the pressurising process, pressure-treated wood should never be burned. If pressure-treated wood catches fire, it can release hazardous (and even carcinogenic) byproducts of the chemicals into the air. In addition to the harmful smoke, the ash will also be filled with the toxic remnants of the wood, exposing you to yet another safety hazard when cleaning up.

        Immediate exposure to these hazards can result in extreme inflammation. Long-term health risks can include permanent irritation to the bronchial tubes and a greater risk of upper respiratory tract infections and lung cancer.

        Get yourself a pollution/particulates meter and stick it outside on a cold evening before the stoves light up then when they are pumping out their particulates, you will be shocked like I was.

  3. Sian says:

    Still trying to get my thoughts together on his reply to this article :
    It’s good to be challenged I suppose even if one can’t always agree with everything said

  4. Patrick Rotheram says:

    The pollution data to which I was referring are the latest (2019) B&NES Council figures for nitrogen dioxide: 32.1 micrograms per cubic metre at Paragon, where it has only quite recently reduced below the legal limit of 40. The figure for ‘Camden 2’ is 25.4. Unlike Camden, London Road and we are in the Bath Air Quality Management Area. There can be no justification for shifting traffic from an area of lower air pollution to one with higher air pollution.
    Traffic monitoring and traffic modelling are well established tools. In 2019 the Council conducted exhaustive modelling of traffic in Queen Square to reduce pollution at the Gay Street ‘hot spot’ for the Clean Air Plan. Several options were rejected because of the forecast traffic displacement to other areas. It may suit you to claim that a similar analysis of a Camden LTN is impossible, but I simply don’t accept that.
    Modal shift is indeed the goal, but it will not be achieved while drivers have the option of taking an alternative route, through London Road and the city centre in this case. Hence the need for a comprehensive plan which addresses displacement. Meanwhile, it would be wrong and unfair to make residents elsewhere the subjects of a random ‘experiment’ – as you put it – which is likely to have a major adverse impact on us.
    We do agree that through traffic should be removed as far as possible, but the Council seem to have no plan for that.

  5. Jeremy says:

    Thanks, Patrick, for pointing to your sources of NOx data and the comparative situations of the Paragon 2 and Camden 3. Looking at the latest report the levels and differentials are not so extreme. I note that you do not comment on the long reported safety aspects which also need putting in the balance.
    Modelling one ‘hot spot’ with different schemes has validity if you trust the model – have the real world results validated the model or not?
    All talk of LTNs is currently premature as the assessment of the bids from each set of ward councillors is still outstanding and in any case has three more steps to go through before anything happens physically.

  6. Ashley Rawlings says:


    Thank you for the link to electric bikes for the obese. Very kind, unfortunately having gone through the list, non ship to the UK only to mainland USA and are not available in the UK….. either I go on a crash diet to get under 100KGs or I move to the States!

  7. Ashley Rawlings says:

    DEFRA figures contradict BANES figures. Wood burning stoves now responsible for 38% of PM 2.5s whereas road transport is 12%. Surely, no one on Camden would begrudge giving up their wood burning stoves to reduce emissions by 38%??

    Read more: – Which?

    Edited by moderator due to its length.