Bold new ideas to tackle the impact of travel on our climate – including removing through-traffic from Bath city centre and a new mass transit system for Bath – are set out in a ground-breaking transport document published by Bath & North East Somerset Council today (January 10).
The Journey to Net Zero plan sets out the changes that need to be made to the way people move around our area if the council is to meet its goal of carbon neutrality for Bath and North East Somerset by 2030.
Transport accounts for 29% of the district’s carbon emissions. Analysis of how to reduce transport emissions following the council’s climate emergency declaration in 2019 suggested that the targets should be:
- to reduce vehicle mileage by 25% per person
- a shift to 76% Zero & Ultra Low Emission vehicles (ULEV) and 14% hybrid vehicles
- only 10% of vehicles to be powered by petrol and diesel
- increase in mass transit, walking and cycling
The council is now seeking the public’s views on the ideas for change set out in the Journey to Net Zero document, which include:
- the introduction of traffic cells to remove through-traffic from the city centre
- mobility hubs to help people in rural communities cycle and walk to direct, convenient bus services into Bath
- a potential new mass transit system for Bath
- improved access into Bath along the main corridors through a step change in public transport provision and improved access to bus services
- new, safer cycling routes, improved crossing facilities and secure bike storage at school sites
- improved accessibility for disabled transport users including developing new technologies
The council is now asking residents to give their views on the proposals that it believes are needed to effect a shift to public transport, walking and travel by bike that will be needed to deliver the council’s net zero climate ambition.
People are invited to respond to the consultation online before February 7.
The Journey to Net Zero consultation document also sets out background information to help people form views on the ideas.
A public webinar on Journey to Net Zero will take place from 6pm to 7pm on January 24. Councillor Matt McCabe, cabinet assistant for Planning and Sustainable Transport, will take questions on the document alongside Councillor Warren and senior officers. Register to attend the public webinar here.
Journey to Net Zero has evolved from the Transport Delivery Action Plan for Bath, which was consulted on last year, and has now been fully updated to reflect recent changes such as the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement for the West of England Combined Authority as well as the continued importance of addressing the climate and ecological emergency. A report on the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement Business Case, which summarises the key transport projects in Bath and North East Somerset to be funded by the Combined Authority in the period 2022-27, is being presented to cabinet on January 27.
The council declared a climate emergency in March 2019 and an ecological emergency in July 2019, pledging to achieve carbon neutrality in our area by 2030. Read more about what the council is doing to address the climate and ecological emergencies.
In March 2021, the council launched a Clean Air Zone in Bath to urgently tackle harmful levels of air pollution caused by the most polluting taxis, vans, buses and larger commercial vehicles regularly driving in the city.