I have sent this letter to the Bath Chronicle in response to the council’s “Our plan to get Bath moving” . It’s a bit long so unsure if they will print it. The key problems within Bath come down to two ‘actors’.
28,000 people drive by car and park somewhere in the city. We currently provide 7,000 car parking spaces and most Park and Rides are only a 3rd full by 9am. Day commuters use free parking available on Bath’s residential roads.
You need to remove the ‘free’ bit through the use of parking control in the form of ‘soft’ Resident Parking Zones across the whole of Bath. This ensures all Park and Ride sites are fully utilised and justifies expansion, and yes, an East Park and Ride solution will be needed, say a Link and Ride using existing brownfield sites.
The School Run
Transport for London brought out an interesting statistic. 50% of traffic is the School Run.
The Council has absolutely no handle on this figure for Bath or even other towns. Priority number one for Highways should be the development of good walking and cycling routes to schools. We need to kill the school run and we need to kill it fast.
Obesity, not Air Pollution is the problem
Let’s be clear, if you focus on Air Pollution, you end up throwing money at Electric Vehicles that still suffer from brake and tyre pollution, but more importantly take up the same space as an internal combustion vehicle.
Air pollution kills 40,000 people a year, Obesity kills 84,000. 88 people each year in BaNES die from Obesity related diseases below the age of 75.
We’re currently at 27.5% obesity, whereas a country that has focused on “Stop de Kindermoord” now has a envious 10% obesity rating. Extrapolating this, 63% of obesity is down to our transport systems. 55 BaNES residents die because of the political decisions your councillors and highways officers make each year.
If we truly want to tackle the health crisis in our transport systems, we need to focus on creating healthy streets and we start with children. We tackle Air Pollution and Obesity through this approach.
We need our own “Stop the child murder”.
We need councillors and councils delivering safe routes to school that enable kids to be able to safely cycle to school. The evidence is though that our council simply does not get the need for this as shown by the up and coming Weston route.