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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Parking Survey


You should by now have received a copy of the Council's parking survey.  It is important to fill this in if you are dissatisfied with parking arrangements in your area.

 The Council has been drawing up a parking strategy.  Although the data in the paper highlights the pressures on on-street parking in the Central Zone, the current draft completely fails to address the issue.  We have managed to persuade Council officers to reconsider this in the light of the results of the parking survey which has just been launched.  However there is a strong view among Council officers and even some Councillors that the present situation is perfectly all right. 

 So if you want something done, complete the survey.   The closing date for returning paper forms is 12 June.  On-line forms must be completed by 22 June.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Enforcement


Poor enforcement and inadequately resourced enforcement are now emerging as key issues in many of the areas concerning residents. 

Without an effective enforcement regime in place all other regulations and regulatory actions become meaningless. For instance:

All licensed premises should be made to adhere strictly to their licence conditions. However licensing officers only inspect premises relatively infrequently and often not during the hours where breaches are most likely.

All licensed premises should comply with planning conditions but decisions of the planning authority are too often flouted for considerable time before effective enforcement action is taken.

Excessive noise from music, observable both on the street and in the nearest premises is routine in the City centre in the early hours of the morning. However, Environmental Protection Officers are not available at all at night when most noise nuisance happens. Environmental protection is not proactive in enforcement only acting on reported nuisance. Other enforcement agencies, such as the police, on the whole ignore noise as an issue

The Council’s Air Quality Management plan calls for improvements to the enforcement of the Traffic Regulation Orders designed to reduce pollution from heavy goods vehicles and with rising levels of pollution damaging both human health and the historic fabric of the city implementing these improvements is long overdue.

Too often regulations are made with little or no planning of how they will be enforced - A Boards and 20 mph zone spring to mind. This does nothing for the credibility of the regulators or the regulations and leaves residents feeling short change and abandoned.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Air Quality

This is the official BANES map showing the extent of air pollution in the city. Air pollution in the areas coloured red is above the safe health levels set by the world health organisation and adopted by the British Government.

Approximately 8,500 people live in these polluted areas and almost all members of TARA.

One of the major sources of pollution is traffic and especially slow moving traffic.

In central Bath much of the main road network is clogged with traffic. Queen Square is a busy gyratory on the A4. The Circus is used by up to 500 vehicles an hour. Some of the heaviest traffic is along the London Road.

These high volumes of traffic have a major impact on the overall appearance and amenity of the city making it a less attractive place to visit. Something which a town an whose economy is heavily dependent on tourism cannot afford. Pollution is also taking a toll on the fabric of the historic buildings visitors come to see.

Faced with all this one would expect our Councilors to have created and be implementing a master plan for traffic management and a clear forecast of its impact on reducing damaging and toxic pollutants. But this is not yet the case.

Other cities have clear strategic plans which are having a real impact. Bristol for instance have transformed their Queen Square from being part of a main thoroughfare to a local oasis for residents and visitors alike.

UNESCO the guardian of Bath's World Heritage Status, has called on BANES to create an integrated Traffic Control Plan for the city.