Bath Pollution – BBC “Inside Out West” Programme

The BBC “Inside Out West” Programme about pollution in Bath highlighted the unacceptably high levels of pollution caused by vehicles in Bath.   Following the programme the Bathampton Meadows Alliance have issued the following statement to the Chronicle.

Alliance spokesperson, Sian James, said: “The results of this BBC investigation into air pollution in Bath sadly come as no surprise.”
“Air quality has exceeded the EU-agreed limits for the highly toxic nitrogen dioxide for several years now in quite a few areas of Bath.”
“Instead of doing anything to tackle this huge problem, B&NES is pressing ahead with an ill-conceived plan to spend millions of pounds on a new Park & Ride, when their own reports say it won’t make any ‘noticeable’ difference to air pollution in the city. It beggars belief that they should spend all this money at a time like this instead of focusing on the problem facing families and their children now. That is why so many people across the city are so angry about this.”
“The council needs to get people out of their cars – as this BBC programme shows – not encourage them into their cars to drive to a Park & Ride.” 
“The air quality team in B&NES doesn’t even have its own budget, that’s how much importance they give to this.”
“And if B&NES spends 16 million pounds on a Park & Ride, at a time when they’re cutting other services, what money will be left for tackling air pollution? I’m afraid the answer will be: none.”
“Councils are obliged to come up with an action plan to tackle air pollution once it goes over the EU-set limits. But the last plan that B&NES came up with, in 2010, only made a minimal difference to NO2 levels. They’re supposed to renew these plans every five years but the new plan – which they’re consulting on at the moment – is already over a year late. What kind of a message does that send to parents worried about what their children are breathing in on Bath’s roads?”
Fellow campaigner and Bathampton mother Fiona Meldrum said: “We know that the environment agency, Defra, wrote to B&NES at the end of last  year telling them that they must have a joint air quality and transport plan. But they haven’t done that – and instead are wilfully turning their back on this advice by pressing ahead with a Park & Ride that won’t make air pollution in the city better and is likely to make it worse on the London Road around the Park & Ride.”
“As a mother, it’s frightening to hear some of these warnings about air pollution in our beautiful city. The BBC was saying just last month that if you live in Foxhill, you are likely to die 9 years younger than if you live in Lansdown. That is an extraordinary statistic. We need something to be done now.”