Totterdown residents’ concerns about Clean Air Zone boundary ignored

During the public consultation about the Clean Air Zone, residents of Totterdown and Windmill Hill repeatedly raised concerns about the proposed boundary. Requests were made to include parts of Bath Road, Wells Road and St Johns Lane in order to avoid an increase in traffic congestion, air pollution and rat running as drivers attempt to avoid the zone. The full consultation report is here:

Unfortunately, those concerns have been ignored and the situation made worse by changing the boundary to exclude Three Lamps Junction so that non-compliant commercial vehicles (vans and lorries) travelling on the Bath Road into the city can turn left at Three Lamps onto Wells Road. It seems likely they will then turn onto St Johns Lane as they try to find an alternative route, exacerbating concerns about road safety and air quality around Victoria Park primary school.

TRESA has submitted these concerns by email to: air.quality@bristol.gov.uk and asked for additional modelling to be undertaken. We have not had a response to date.

The comments from concerned residents, and the change made by Bristol City Council following the public consultation, are listed below.

Comments on Option 1 (Clean Air Zone)

INCLUDE

  • Respondents thought that Windmill Hill should be included as it gets congested during rush hour. Respondents also pointed out that the consultation map showed pollution exceedances and as part of the AQMA further pollution should not be displaced here. Respondents requested the inclusion of Windmill Hill as it is a high-density urban housing area with lots of family homes and a less affluent area, these areas should not be neglected. Respondents also asked for the inclusion of schools in Windmill Hill.
  • Respondents also felt that green areas in Windmill Hill should be included and inclusion of Windmill Hill overall would help encourage families to walk and cycle.
  • Respondents were also concerned about additional parking issues in Windmill Hill from commuters no longer able to access the centre and including Windmill Hill would stop this, respondents felt it may also help reduce the number of diesel cars in the area.
  • Respondents asked for Bath Road to be included in Windmill Hill or up to the junction with Summer Hill due to its high volume of high polluting traffic in residential areas. Respondents noted there is a large number of pedestrians and residents in the area that should be protected.
  • Marksbury Road should be included just past the academy.
  • Respondents stated that St John’s Lane should be included due to its very busy nature during the day, with lots of idling cars during peak times, respondents thought St John’s Lane was often used as a rat run and by many high polluting vehicles causing poor air quality.
  • Respondents requested the inclusion of St John’s Lane due to Victoria Park Primary School backing directly on to the road. Respondents did not want additional traffic, particularly LGVs and HGVs using the route as a diversion and driving past the school having a disproportionate impact on young children. Respondents also expressed concern about the impact on children walking along St John’s Lane to Victoria Park and other surrounding schools; Parson Street Primary School, St Mary Redcliffe Primary and Ashton Park Secondary. They also noted that high levels of pedestrians used to road during the day and that it passed through a high-density housing area with several families and felt St John’s Lane should be included to protect them.
  • Respondents requested the inclusion of St John’s Lane to stop it becoming a diversionary route for traffic unable to use Coronation Road, particularly additional LGVs and HGVs. Respondents were also worried about the effects of additional commuters parking around St. John’s Lane and walking to the centre and felt that these diversionary issues may increase pollution in the area.
  • St Luke’s Road should be included as it has very poor air quality, particularly at rush hour. Respondents asked for inclusion as children walk along it to get to St Mary Redcliffe School and they should be protected. Respondents also did not want to see an increase in LGVs and taxis on St Luke’s Road adding to the, already indicated, amber pollution levels.
  • The Three Lamps Junction should be included due to current high levels in the area; it may discourage people from driving into the area which is busy with homes, schools and nurseries.
  • Respondents asked for Totterdown to be included as it is currently heavily trafficked. Respondents felt including Totterdown would help to stop people from driving into the city and instead encourage use of buses and trains, it would also encourage HGVs to divert via the A4174 rather than through Totterdown. Respondents also felt that commuter parking in the area should be discouraged as the area was largely residential and therefore air quality should not be made worse, so Totterdown should be included.
  • Totterdown Bridge should be included because it is heavily congested with commercial vehicles sat idling.
  • Victoria Park should be included to decrease air pollution around a green recreational area.
  • Respondents requested Wells Road be included as far as St John’s Lane and through Totterdown as it is currently heavily used with slow moving traffic, particularly by HGVs. Respondents stated that HGVs delay buses along the Wells Road and the pollution is awful.
  • Respondents want to include Wells Road as the current traffic and pollution could become worse as more drivers use the road as a diversionary route. Respondents also exhibited concern for the resultant impact on Hillcrest School and thought, Wells Road should be included. Respondents felt including Wells Road would improve conditions for cyclists which are currently thought of as poor.

EXCLUDE

  • Bath Road should be excluded as drivers may become entrapped, they were also concerned about the potential diversionary routes along inappropriate residential streets.
  • Three Lamps Junction should be excluded in order to avoid entrapment, particularly for those coming out of the New Walls Estate who have no option to exit towards the city centre and cannot avoid the zone.
  • Respondents were concerned about the road layout at Totterdown Bridge and feared they may become entrapped into entering the zone

Comments on Option 2 (Diesel car ban)

  • Respondents thought that Windmill Hill should be included as it gets congested during rush hour and is often used as a car park for commuters for block up the roads. Respondents felt if Windmill Hill were excluded it could exacerbate these issues and increase air pollution due to the increase in diesel vehicles.
  • Respondents asked for the Bath Road to be included in Windmill Hill due to the exceedance in compliant air quality shown in the map.
  • Respondents stated that St John’s Lane should be included due to its use as a commuter traffic route, traffic there can be very heavy at times leading to high levels of pollution. Respondents requested the inclusion of St John’s Lane due to two schools, particularly Victoria Park Primary School and Marksbury Road Primary School, backing directly on to the road and they felt the health of children should be protected. Respondents expressed concern that St John’s Lane could become a diversionary route for traffic unable to use Coronation Road, increasing traffic on a road already at capacity, and that commuters would park around St. John’s Lane; therefore, it should be included in the zone.
  • St Luke’s Road should be included as it has very poor air quality, as indicated on the consultation map.
  • Respondents requested the inclusion of The Three Lamps Junction to stop increasing diesel car traffic in the area, creating additional traffic and pollution. Respondents also felt including The Three Lamps Junction would help decrease the amount of taxis using the route to access Temple Meads. Respondents were concerned that the position of the boundary at The Three Lamps Junction might lead people to becoming entrapped into entering the zone.
  • Respondents asked for Totterdown to be included as it is currently heavily trafficked. Respondents felt including Totterdown would help to stop people from driving into the city and instead encourage use of buses and trains. Respondents also felt that commuter parking in Totterdown should be discouraged as the current usage already causes congestion issues, so it should be included.
  • Totterdown Bridge should be included because it is heavily congested and would be a diversionary route to avoid the current zone boundary.
  • Victoria Park should be included to protect green spaces from air pollution.
  • Wedmore Vale should be included to help protect Victoria Park School.
  • Respondents requested Wells Road be included as it is currently heavily used with slow moving traffic, leading to pollution along the Wells Road and the pollution is awful. Respondents want to include Wells Road as the current traffic and pollution could become worse as more diesel drivers use the road as a diversionary route and park in the local area. Respondents were also concerned about air pollution increasing near Hillcrest School.

EXCLUDE

  • Bath Road should be excluded so drivers can access Temple Meads.

Changes made to the boundary

Bath Road (A4) – The CAZ has been retracted here to allow a more sensible alternative option to entering the zone and avoiding entrapping drivers travelling westwards on the Bath Road. The boundary now excludes the Bath Road until the junction with Wells Road (Three Lamps Junction). This will allow drivers to turn onto the Wells Road instead of entering the zone.