This report will follow on Friday 21st August, after the publication of the papers for the Cabinet meeting on 1st September.
The Head of Strategic Transport presented the report updating the Board on the position relating to the Clean Air proposals. Members went on to consider and comment on the information provided. The key points were as follows;
• Members commented that the recent closures of Baldwin Street and Bristol Bridge had affected access to the Old Vic and Welsh Back, and that Google continued to direct traffic through closures. Officers confirmed that discussions with affected organisations had been ongoing.
• Whilst fines would be issued for non-compliance with the aforementioned road closures, a ‘light touch’ approach would be taken in the early stages.
• Officers clarified that the paper was not a Full Business Case, but an updated position. £12million had been awarded from central government to facilitate delivery of the clean air zones
• Members queried whether there would be an opportunity for funds set aside for CAZ projects to be moved to other long term alternative active travel solutions. Officers stated that this would be dependent on timing and direction from central government; it would be difficult to change funds directed by JAQU. Some funds would also be obtained from the DFT Emergency Active Travel Fund and other funds that would be released in due course.
• A question was raised over whether modelling for changes of behaviour around commuting and travel to schools had been factored in to the revised model Officers stated that there was an inherent uncertainty around future trends, hence the preferred ‘test and learn’ approach.
• A request was made for clarity over the messaging around the changes made in view of the impact of social distancing and the longer term impacts of the pandemic Officers agreed and confirmed that greater engagement and consultation would take place once preferred models had been agreed with JAQU.
• Modelling would be sent to JAQU in December, with implementation by October 2021 of a clean air zone if required.
• Members asked how the approval or rejection of temporary projects would affect the Full Business Case. Officers confirmed the development of the CAZ D and CAZ C alongside these works, and advised these would remain regardless of the other projects if modelling showed them as necessary. Projects would be committed with the finalisation of the Full Business Case.
• Concern was raised over the impact of travel (and subsequently business) flow from the North to South of the City , and the potential for reduced access to places of interest such as cultural centres
• Members asked if pavement widening and other social distancing measures would be retained and were advised that communities would be asked for input, and measures retained if wanted.
• It was unknown whether perceptions around reduced safety on public transport had affected vehicle use, although the additional measures in place to reduce risks on buses was emphasised. Patronage of buses was around 30-40% of previous use. Members requested sight of the DFT public safety advice.
• Any queries regarding the Active Travel Fund could be sent to the transport engagement address (email@example.com), while the Strategic Transport team would receive questions around the CAZ.
RESOLVED; That Officers share the DFT advice on the safety of public transport.