Reply to a question at BANES budget fair

At the BANES budget fair we asked about plans to fund the much postponed implementation of the Air Quality Management Plan a plan which statute requires the council to maintain because of the high levels of pollutant concentrations across most of central Bath.

At the time the question seemed to cause some confusion with both Councillors and Senior Officer appearing to know little about this important issue.

We have since received a slightly more detailed explanation as follows:

“Thank you for raising the issue of funding for the Air Quality Action Plan.    We work closely with the Transport teams and many of the measures in the AQAP are being progressed by them, eg. the Freight Transhipment Scheme and Bath Transport Package measures including the expansion of park and rides and installation of variable message signing on approaches to the city.   
Two of the main measures in the action plan are the Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study and the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure.  We successfully bid for DEFRA funding for the Low Emission Zone Study which we are now in the process of writing up following an extensive traffic and air pollution dispersion modelling exercise.  We will inform you when the study is available and this will be presented at an event TBC.
We were also successful with the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure element of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) and have installed charging points at Charlotte Street car park, with 8 further sockets being installed early December at Odd Down and Lansdown Park and Ride.   We have also provided charging points to employers and have a programme for further charging points across the area paid for by the LSTF.  The network which we have helped set up is here :
We will be reviewing the Air Quality Action Plan for Bath and the available funding streams from central government and other existing related council budgets in the new year.

In summary, we do currently have financial resource through central government grants for the completion of key elements of the action plan and work with Transport Planning and their budget on measures which also work towards improving air quality.”