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Bath poised for air quality plan consultation

Bath & North East Somerset council will launch a three-month consultation seeking views on the development of its updated Air Quality Action Plan from Monday (4 September).

Its current Air Quality Action Plan for Bath was drawn up in 2011 and proposals have been drawn up for an updated version of the plan, with views being sought up to 26 November.

Queue of cars in Bath on a sunny day in March 2013

This follows consultation and work with local stakeholder groups who were asked for their ideas on how to improve air quality in the city. The groups have helped to develop a list of proposals which will be published as part of the formal consultation process to update the Action Plan on Monday.

The council currently has three Air Quality Management Areas in Bath, Keynsham and Saltford. Recommendations have been put forward and specific initiatives have been implemented to reduce the levels of nitrogen dioxide in these areas, the authority says.

The council is also one of 29 named within the government’s nitrogen dioxide plan as having to draw up proposals to tackle air pollution locally, with a December 2018 deadline for proposals to be approved.

Feasibility study

A final version of the Air Quality Plan for Bath will be available after Spring 2018, once a feasibility study has been carried out to assess measures to bring the council in line with the requirements of the government’s national air quality plan.

Councillor Bob Goodman, Bath & North East Somerset’s cabinet member for development, said: “This consultation comes at an important time for the issue of air quality, following the inclusion of Bath in the recently published National Air Quality Action Plan. It is vital local residents and businesses get involved and provide us with their comments and suggestions so we can shape an action plan which will help to protect public health in the future.”

The council was among the first to have been handed funding from the government’s £255 million Air Quality Implementation Fund to assess options to tackle air pollution (see airqualitynews.com story).

Within Bath & North East Somerset an area around the A4 London Road has been identified as the area in need of action, and the council has said it will consider a “wide range of measures” in order to reduce emissions within the zone.

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