Laura and Alan Weston, who live on Rush Hill, Bath, are among the locals who said a Clean Air Zone has made their life a “nightmare” as it caused “astronomical” traffic on their road
An elderly couple who have been desperate to move out of their home have been unable to sell due to a new car tax that has made traffic on their road “astronomical”.
Laura and Alan Weston, who live on Rush Hill, Bath, are among the locals whose lives are being ruined by huge lorries thundering down their road to avoid the Clean Air Zone.
They have been longing to buy a new house in the area but have been unable to find anyone interested in their current property due to the noise, SomersetLive reports.
Bath’s Clean Air Zone was introduced in March and charges now apply to taxis, private hire vehicles, vans, light goods vehicles, buses, coaches and HGVs that do not meet the required emission standards.
The Clean Air Zone was introduced because several places in Bath currently exceed the legal limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) pollution which is mainly caused by vehicle emissions.
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Commenting on the impact the charge has had on those living outside the Zone, Mrs Weston, 71, said: “We can’t sell because of the road. It’s just absolutely horrendous.
“We’ve been here 40 years and want to move somewhere quiet but nobody wants it.
“It’s the heavy lorries at 5.30pm and late into the night too.
“We’re a bag of nerves really. We’ve been on the market since last October – people tell the estate agent they like the house but it’s the road, it’s the traffic.
“We can’t go look at anywhere until we’ve at least had an offer here – I love my house and have tried to carry on but it is time to go.
“We’re wanting to move to another part of Bath.”
Mrs Weston continued: “They didn’t seek our opinions on this and they can’t see what it has done to our lives. They just take it for granted people wanted it.
“It’s getting silly what we have had to put up with and now we’re paying for having a house here. If we had a fancier post code maybe this wouldn’t be a problem. It’s really affecting our lives.
“All I want to do in the day is get out of the house away from it all – the size of the lorries is really huge. We get these ones carrying huge cement pipes for sewage or something.
“I take my grandkids to school a couple days a week and it’s frightening, I do all I can, make sure I walk on the road side but they thunder past you and they’ve only got to do is swerve and we’re in trouble.
Mr Weston said: “It is a major accident waiting to happen at Rush Hill.”
“I think the councillors need to come out and see it for themselves.”
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John and Marcia Roost live on Whiteway Road, close to the very steep section in a property very close to the road.
Mrs Roost, 73, said: “It’s terrible since the new Clean Air Zone. We see the huge lorries carrying enormous concrete sewage pipes going up and two-tier lorries carrying ten cars on them.
“The volume of traffic has been going up immensely to the point it is astronomical.
“They never keep to the speed limit either. Some people even over take here too.
“We’ve been living here for 26 years and I have never woken up in the night from a heavy vehicle until recently.”
Council leader Kevin Guy said that one possible explanation for more lorries on roads could be that there are more HGV’s and vans using roads across the UK because of home deliveries and added it was not the council’s intention to make other roads more polluted.
Neighbour Chris, who did not want his surname included, said that he struggles to get his disabled wife out of the house and into the car because of the traffic.
He said: “I’ve lost my wing mirror three times already this year. I try to get my wheelchair-bound wife into the car, but it is very hard with all the traffic.
“I’ve reached out to the councillors but haven’t had anything back. I’ve said for years that it needs to be a 20mph zone here and the speed camera needs to actually work because we’ve been told its not worked for years.”
Another Rush Hill resident said the problem is getting worse over time.
Andrea Moon, 77, said: “It is getting worse and worse.
“Really big lorries, HGVs, van deliveries – everything. I don’t have much to do with the internet but I hear one sat nav company is telling people how to avoid the Clean Air Zone.”
Waze now lets users indicate if their vehicle is due to be charged so they can use alternative routes or get a reminder to pay the charge when they enter.
Councillor Dine Romero recently confirmed that Whiteway Road is being monitored to see what impact the Clean Air Zone is having.
Councillor Kevin Guy, leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council said he took the concerns of increased traffic on roads outside the CAZ boundary seriously.
He said: “We take seriously the concerns expressed about increased traffic on roads that are lying outside of the Bath Clean Air Zone (CAZ) boundary.
“A perception of more HGV’s and vans using these roads could be because of the CAZ, but we need to remind people that nationally, there are now more HGV’s and vans on our roads than ever before due to the increased use of home deliveries.
“Monitoring is being completed as quickly as possible to understand the cause for any change in traffic levels, the results of which will be made public in September 2021.”