I’m looking forward to hosting the West of England Committee meeting and Joint Committee meeting on Monday when, among other topics, we’ll be discussing transport issues. It’s very topical in a week in which we announced joint action by a number of local authorities and local enterprise partnerships to press the Government for better transport links between the Channel ports of Southampton and Poole and the M4 corridor. Part of the issue this poses for Bath, of course, is the considerable congestion as vehicles pour on to A36/A46 through Bath.
The issue of air quality is a longstanding one and having all these additional vehicles passing through B&NES compounds the problems we have with rush hour traffic. Today sees the start of a two-week trial along the A4 London Road of vehicle monitoring so that we get a better understanding of traffic patterns in ad out of Bath.
This will enable us to draw up clear proposals to present to the Government for tackling the high levels of nitrogen dioxide at pollution ‘hotspots’. At the same time, we’re also consulting on the wider Air Quality Action plan. An initial action plan which will be finalised by March 2018 to be followed by a final draft before the end of 2018.
Before that on Friday I’ll be having my regular meeting with local MP Jacob Rees-Mogg. One of the topics I’ll be looking to raise with him is some of the financial challenges – and opportunities – the Council faces. It’ll be the first chance we’ve had to catch up since our updated financial plans for the next five years were approved.
Finally, congratulations to Bath RFC for their great win against the Scarlets last week and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming fixture against Gloucester on Sunday.