BATH: Fears that plans to ban HGVs on Cleveland bridge will push pollution into west Wiltshire
WILTSHIRE Council has said it is ‘extremely disappointed’ with Bath & North East Somerset Council (BANES) over its plans to ban HGV traffic from Cleveland Bridge.
The proposals, brought forward by deputy council leader Richard Samuel at BANES, are due to be discussed at its cabinet meeting in November.
BANES council said it would consult on the proposals “at the appropriate time”.
This is sore news, however, to Wiltshire Council which fears the measures would further push high-polluting traffic into west Wiltshire.
Leader of the council, Richard Clewer said: “We have noted BANES proposals to prohibit HGVs from crossing Cleveland Bridge on the A36 in Bath, and we continue to oppose any restrictions on the Strategic Road Network that would result in HGVs being diverted on to less suitable roads through Wiltshire communities.
“I’m extremely disappointed that despite attempts to set up a dialogue with BANES over Cleveland Bridge, they have now seen fit to make a decision to proceed with the banning of lorries with no discussion with anyone from Wiltshire Council.
“That isn’t a good way to build relations between two authorities.
“We will continue to work with our partners at BANES Council and other local authorities in the south west, as part of the Western Gateway Sub-national Transport Body, to find positive solutions to improving the highways network throughout the region, but we will not allow any HGV restrictions on the A36 to affect our towns and villages in west Wiltshire.
“We are hoping to meet them at Cleveland Bridge to discuss the issue, although, in light of their actions I’m not sure what point there is in that.”
BANES cabinet member for transport, Manda Rigby said the weight limit on the Grade II listed bridge will expire soon.
Cllr Rigby added that residents “cannot wait” to achieve cleaner air and reduce HGV traffic through the Roman city.
“We are not in the business of exporting our problems elsewhere, but we are in the business of standing up for our community and I am convinced that there must be a solution which gives net benefit to the region as a whole,” the cabinet member continued.
“The council will work with other councils to make representations to government about the need to improve the traffic situation at Cleveland Bridge.
“We will highlight the changes to road conditions within Bath and the wider area since 2012 such as the changes to the A350 as part of the planned improvement and upgrade and the introduction of the Clean Air Zone.”
There is currently a temporary 18-tonne limit in place on the bridge because of repair work taking place.
“The West of England north-south connectivity study, which is currently being carried out by National Highways on behalf of the Department for Transport, will assess the current connectivity between the M4 and south coast, including north-south A-roads, and we await its findings,” Cllr Clewer added.
Words: Matthew McLaughlin, Local Democracy Reporter
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