Zone poses real risk to busi­nesses fu­ture

Bath Chronicle - - OPINION -

Please can some­one ex­plain to me why Bath is propos­ing a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year con­ges­tion zone? Even Lon­don only has a Mon­day to Fri­day 7am un­til 6pm one. Is the pol­lu­tion in Bath re­ally worse than Lon­don? I thought a con­ges­tion zone was meant to be used to cut down con­ges­tion and thus pol­lu­tion but Bath seems to be want­ing to set one up and charge even at times when there will be no con­ges­tion which seems ex­tremely un­fair and short-sighted. I have a stu­dent daugh­ter who has a small part-time job in Bath which of­ten means she has a 6am start or 11pm fin­ish. We live in a vil­lage out­side of Bath with no buses and the pub­lic trans­port that is avail­able from the out­skirts of Bath is not fre­quent or re­li­able enough mean­ing she has no al­ter­na­tive but to drive in. The con­ges­tion charge would make her job un­vi­able so she would prob­a­bly end up look­ing for one out­side of the city in­stead. There will be many oth­ers in sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances and I can en­vis­age short­ages of staff for many em­ploy­ers in Bath as well as a de­crease in foot flow from re­duced vis­i­tor num­bers. The 24 hours-a-day de­ci­sion will im­pact not only on Bath busi­nesses at peak times but will also stop peo­ple like me en­ter­ing the city in the evening for vis­its to the the­atre, cin­ema, meals out etc. Un­for­tu­nately I think there is a real risk of some Bath busi­nesses go­ing un­der and Bath be­com­ing a bit of a ghost town. On a very cyn­i­cal note, per­haps Bath coun­cil needs more empty prop­er­ties in the cen­tre that can be con­verted into stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion and sees this as a way of free­ing up build­ings. Mrs Bald­win Bris­tol

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