Why AVA opposes the construction of a link road to connect the A36 and A46:
- A36/46 Link Road schemes have been proposed many time in the past 30 years – but never considered viable.
- Any link road would be in the Cotswold AONB and setting of the Bath World Heritage Site. A Public Enquiry concluded that a link road ‘would have intolerable impacts on the landscape and be devastating to recreational amenity’.
- The A36 and A46 are geologically unstable, requiring frequent closures for maintenance, and are therefore unsuitable for increased HGV and other traffic that would result.
- Bath traffic is predominantly local. Government figures show only 1 in 20 cars represent through traffic. Minor congestion relief will therefore be temporary around Cleveland Bridge and London Road but nowhere else in Bath will benefit.
- The above relegates a link road to an ineffective ‘Bath relief road’ at enormous financial cost and severe environmental damage.
- New roads are invariably proven to induce more traffic unsuitable for the A36 and A46.
- There are many effective alternatives to reducing HGV effects including: Low Emission Zones; Regional signing strategies, Freight Consolidation Centres; Improved parking for coaches.
- Bathampton is on the edge of an Air Quality Management Area with emissions just below EU safety limits and on a rising trajectory while parts of London Road already exceed them. A link road attracting more traffic (as shown in Government statistics) could only lead to further rises in emissions levels.
- A36/46 link road proposals fundamentally conflict with B&NES Council’s own environmental policies.
- Despite claims of possible benefits there is no proven economic case for a new link road.
- Not only are proposals a threat to the character and amenity of the UNESCO WHS setting of Bath but also to the many communities and environments throughout the Avon Valley South of Bath, to Beckington and beyond.
- The above requires proper evidence-based debate and not comments which ignore detailed discussion and conclude it’s simply common sense