Air Pollution

Bath residents are extremely concerned about air pollution in the city. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels along most of the main road network are well above the legal limit at which pollution is considered to be a health risk. Along the London Road and parts of the centre, NO2 pollution levels are 50% over the legal limit. There are well-established links between pollution and respiratory diseases. Diesel particulates are also a problem, being linked to both lung and heart disease.

Pollution has remained at these high levels for more than ten years and is not reducing. 92% of NO2 pollution in Bath is caused by road traffic (the remainder mostly comes from sources such as domestic boilers).

B&NES has designated an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA), which covers most of the main road network and the centre of the city. 10,000 people live within the AQMA and by definition are being subjected to unhealthy and unlawful levels of air pollution. However B&NES has yet to take effective action to reduce air pollution.

B&NES has been named in the Government's Air Quality Plan of July 2017 as one of 29 local authorities with the greatest problem with excessive levels of NO2 pollution. B&NES will now be required to produce a local plan to reduce NO2 pollution below the legal limit. An initial plan will be required by March 2018 and the final plan by December 2018.  FoBRA wrote to the Council Leader about this on 4th Aug 17, seeking urgent action - see 'Papers' tab.

Action must be focused on reducing traffic volumes, particularly of the most polluting diesel vehicles. One element of the plan is likely to be a Clean Air Zone (CAZ). The Government has promised local authorities access to funding for CAZs. We believe there should be a CAZ covering the whole of central Bath.

We would also like to see a CAZ on the A4 London Road and the A36 through Bath, but this may not be possible as these are part of the national main road network. An alternative route for the A36-A46 through traffic must be found so as to enable the highly polluting HGV traffic through the city to be restricted.

See "Papers" tab on this website for the relevant data: the Bath air pollution map; Bath air quality data 2016; Bath NO2 graphs 2016; and DEFRA's Air Quality Plan July 2017.

30 July 2017