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Thursday, 18 June 2015

Notes for our meeting with the EU Environment Commissioner

The council does have an air quality management plan but this has not been updated since 2011.

The focus for the council has been on creating a long-term traffic management strategy. The strategy has now been agreed but we are still waiting for the strategy implementation planning process to start.

The political leadership of the council has recently changed and prior to the election, the winning party published a list of shorter-term traffic management policies which we attach.

Our concern as residents, we have over a 1000 members who live in the city centre, are:

1. The apparent lack of urgency in addressing the problem

2. The lack of budgetary provision for the AQMA plan

3. Inadequate monitoring of air pollution
        a. All measurements are taken well over head height
        b. The smallest and most dangerous particulate matter is not measured at all

4. The apparent ineffectiveness of the EU directives

5. The focus on long-term traffic management as being the solution rather than for instance:
        a. Short term traffic management interventions such as changing traffic light priorities
        b. Planning regulations to improve air flows in streets
        c. Pollution extraction through either technology or biological means

6. A lack of investment in research both about potential solutions and the health impacts and costs of the current pollution levels

7. The economic impact of pollution on a city whose economy is dependent on tourism and knowledge-based industries and which is a custodian of world heritage assets

8. The lack of pollution control consideration in the several major developments being proposed

We would like to see the commission:

1. Put more pressure on the UK authorities to address these issues with greater urgency

2. Work with Bath stakeholders, in particular, Bath University, to create a case study which could provide useful information and guidance on best practice to cities across Europe

On this latter point, we believe Bath would be a good choice because in one place you can look at pollution impacts on residents, tourists, businesses and heritage assets.

Members of the CCAG 
including 
Ian Perkins Chairman of TARAwith 
EU Environment Commissioner Vella, Julie Girling MEP
 andTim Warren Leader of BANES Council