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Major Updates

Councillors on Bath & North East Somerset Council are set to meet at a specially convened cabinet to consider proposals for a clean air zone in Bath.

A report into the future of a proposed clean air zone is currently being prepared ahead of the cabinet meeting at the Guildhall in Bath on Tuesday March 5.

Last December the cabinet received a report updating on a consultation which more than 8,400 people took part in about the zone – thought to be a record number for Bath & North East Somerset Council.

In order to help shape a final decision the council has taken additional time to analyse the responses and the technical modelling in order to prepare a report for the meeting in March.

Last year the council undertook a six-week consultation on a proposal for a clean air zone in the city, which would see charges for higher emission vehicles driving in the zone.

The response to the consultation was unprecedented with almost 20 per cent of the responses arriving in the last few days of the consultation.

Councillor Bob Goodman, cabinet member for Development and Neighbourhoods, said: “The cabinet is meeting in March, as we said we would, to make a decision about the next stage on a proposed clean air zone. Obviously since the consultation ended it has taken additional time to consider all the responses to this crucial issue facing our city and wider area.

“A clean air zone is an opportunity to improve the air we breathe and to make the city a healthier place for the future and our aim is to be compliant at the same time as having the minimum detrimental effect on our residents and on the city’s economy.”

Bath & North East Somerset Council has been told by the government – along with 27 other local authorities, to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide NO2 in the air by 2021 at the latest.

A report before cabinet in December noted the unprecedented consultation responses and stated that as a result more time was needed to fully analyse the feedback and undertake further statistical and financial modelling work.

The report identified a number of themes emerging from the consultation including the boundary of the zone, impacts on specific groups of people and potential mitigations.

It recommended a further report with fully costed and modelled options, including mitigations, be reported back to the cabinet as soon as reasonably possible and cabinet agreed to delay the decision until March 2019.

Press release by Bath & North East Somerset Council.

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