Labour have announced today that if they take control of Bath & North East Somerset Council in 2019, they would consult on plans to pedestrianise parts of Bath city centre.

Cllr John Bull (Lab, Paulton), Labour’s spokesperson for Transport and the Environment, said: “Air pollution has become such a hot topic in Bath, yet no one seems willing to take the radical action that is needed to properly tackle this public health crisis. We support the idea for a Clean Air Zone in Bath, but we know that it will not solve the problem alone.

“In addition to improving our air quality, pedestrianisation would make the busy streets of Bath safer and more pleasant for the vast majority of people who are just walking around doing their shopping. Additionally, we would aim to pair this with more reliable and affordable public transport by bringing bus services in Bath & North East Somerset under more public control. This is something that the West of England Combined Authority has the power to do but has been dragging its feet on.”

Labour say that they have not made any firm decisions on what roads they would pedestrianise, but that they would ensure any changes were based on evidence and extensive consultation with residents, businesses and the wider community.

Dr Sharon Gillings, Labour’s candidate for the Kingsmead by-election , said: “Every year in the UK, it’s estimated that the equivalent of 40,000 early deaths can be linked to breathing polluted air. I’m proud to be standing for a party that takes air quality very seriously. As a GP in Kingsmead, I know patients with respiratory problems have more symptoms when pollution levels are high. Labour can make the changes our city needs.”

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