Every year at the AGM, CARA members identify and vote for the top three issues to prioritise in the coming year. The CARA committee undertake to act on these issues throughout the year.
Progress to report on these issues will be updated here continually throughout the year.
1. Traffic Management
CARA seeks to achieve the optimal traffic volume for local residents. For some years, we have sought to reduce car traffic and to eradicate coach traffic.
Winter 2016 -
The Council has accepted the need to restrict coach and heavy vehicle movements. In July, BANES surveyed traffic volume in The Circus area and modelled results are awaited. Once received, we shall meet officers and discuss the survey results, their recommendations to Councillors and promote much-needed improvements to local traffic movements. We have joined Bath Bridge and the Transport Alliance to have a louder voice in traffic matters across the city.
Spring 2017 -
The Council has accepted the need to restrict coach and heavy vehicle movements and continues to assess the outcome from last July’s traffic survey. We keep chasing the results, apparently now with BANES Highway modelling team.
Once received, we shall meet officers and discuss outcomes, their recommendations to Councillors and promote much-needed improvements to local traffic movements.
Autumn 2017 -
We met recently with Mark Shelford, the new Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, and presented him with a report, including our latest survey data, calling for coach traffic management in the Circus area.
Mr. Shelford recognises the problems that coaches cause and is supportive of the aims set out in our paper. As a result, Mr. Shelford plans to present a trial Traffic Management Scheme (TMS), that would remove coaches from the Circus area, for approval in the B&NES budgetary process for 2018-2019.
If approved, we should see new traffic controls next summer.
B&NES recently held a consultation about Parking and Coach Parking strategies within Bath. A copy of CARA's responses to both consultations, spearheaded by Richard Brown, is available here:
1/11/17 - SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Notice is given that Bath and North East Somerset Council in exercise of its powers under section 14 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 intends to make an order the effect of which will be to temporarily introduce a road closure in that length of Brock Street, closure extents from the junction of Upper Church Street to The Circus junction on Brock Street, a distance of approximately 155 metres.
Read the full notice here
5/11/2017 - SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Notice is given that the Bath and North East Somerset Council will close temporarily that length of Julian Road from outside number 1 Brunswick Place to the junction of Julian Road / Lansdown Road, for a period of 5 days, commencing on Friday 3rd November 2017
Read the full notice here
2. Air Pollution
Many residents will be aware that air pollution is a major problem in our community.
Winter 2016 -
CARA members attended a presentation by the Council earlier in the year, but we were disappointed by what we were told. However, the Council seems determined to find a solution that improves air quality, and they have recently updated their website including the results of the Low Emission Feasibility Survey.
click here to view survey results
Parliament has recently launched an enquiry into urban congestion to which you may want to respond.
click here to respond
Spring 2017 -
Much of the work around pollution is out of our hands, but we have (alongside other Residents Associations in Bath, led by the Federation of Bath Residents Associations) raised the profile with local, regional and national government.
(Oh, and the BBC!).
Autumn 2017 -
Recently B&NES was named in the Government's new Air Quality Plan for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as one of 29 local authorities with illegal NO2 pollution. Following its inclusion in the national Air Quality Plan, B&NES is seeking feedback on air quality across Bath in preparation for the development of an updated Bath Air Quality Action Plan. To participate in the consultation (4th September 2017 to 26th November 2017), please visit: www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/environment/pollution/air-quality.
October 2017 -
A letter from the chairman, Barry Gilbertson, to Councillor Bob Goodman. Pollution issues - and the installation of Smart Cameras to monitor pollution levels - are currently under review.
"Here at CARA, we (as residents of the Circus Area Residents Association) are dismayed that none of the new Smart Cameras (to help the Council understand and improve air quality) are due to be positioned in our area.
"As you (and Mark Shelford) know well, we suffer a lot from coaches in Bennett Street, the Circus and Gay Street, especially those coaches encircling the Circus two or three times, or stuck in traffic in Gay Street, waiting to go down to Queen Square beyond the George Street junction. Some even park (often illegally) in the Circus, with their diesel engines running, whilst waiting while their passengers walk up to the Royal Crescent and back.
"To give you an example, we have a regular count of coaches in the Circus, and since July this year we have counted 173 different coach companies with vehicles encircling the Circus. To be clear, that is 173 different companies, as organisations like National Express count as one company even though they regularly have coaches from different parts of the country visiting (often not stopping for anything other than for passenger photographs, or adding anything to Bath’s economy). In addition, we have the approved open-top tourist buses.
"On average, one coach or bus movement every 8 minutes, day in day out, from around 8am to around 6pm.
"Would it please be possible to position a smart camera in each of Bennett Street, the Circus and Gay Street? Your help would be very much appreciated."
July 2018 -
Have your say on ‘BreATHe’– Bath’s Clean Air Plan 2021.
Air Pollution has an adverse effect on health, particularly respiratory health. As such, at the CARA AGM in May, CARA members agreed for CARA to focus on Air Pollution as a priority. This coincides with the requirement for B&NES Council to achieve compliance with Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) limits ‘in the shortest possible time’ and by 2021 at the latest and B&NES’ current consultation on its Clean Air Plan 2021.
click here to read more
November 2018 -
Air Pollution has an adverse effect on health, particularly respiratory health. As such, at the CARA AGM in May, members agreed to focus on Air Pollution as a priority. This coincides with the requirement for B&NES Council to achieve compliance with Nitrogen Dioxide limits ‘in the shortest possible time’ and by 2021 at the latest.
Earlier this year, B&NES consulted on its initial plans for a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) covering a large part of the centre of Bath. Following feedback, B&NES is now in consultation for its final proposals with regard to the CAZ. For full details of the proposals, please visit: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/bath-breathes-2021-overview
December 2018 -
Please click here to read CARA’s response to B&NES Clean Air Plan 2021
3. Party houses
November 2018 -
CARA, working with FoBRA, and our local Councillors, worked hard to get the Council to hold a Scrutiny Day, where the whole issue of party houses was discussed in an open forum. CARA was represented very well by Aline Tayar. The Leader of the Council is now working with Central Government towards a change in planning law to make short term holiday lets a separate planning use class. This change would give all local planning authorities better opportunities and obligations to regulate and monitor the providers and the properties. Also, of course, it would give residents the chance to object when planning consent is sought. We will keep you posted with any update news.
Details of CARA work on previous Priority Issues can be found in our Archive