ANGER and frustration are growing among parish councils as councillors fear the planned Bath clean air charging zones will re-direct traffic through Wiltshire villages.

One councillor has drawn up a paper detailing the issues and opposing the plans, which he hopes other councils will support.

The fears come after an announcement from Bath and North East Somerset Council which plans to introduce a £9 a day charge for older petrol vehicles, and diesel vehicles more than three years old, with a £100 a day fee for buses, coaches and HGVs over 12 years old when they drive through the city.

Already North Bradley, West Ashton, Southwick, and Hilperton Parish Councils as well as Westbury Town Council have said they do not want extra traffic and pollution through their communities if the scheme goes ahead.

Wiltshire councillor for Southwick area, Horace Prickett, is spearheading the fight and said the parishes need to come together so a strong argument for opposition can be submitted.

Cllr Pricket said: “I wanted to write this paper to get the main points across and so that all the parishes and towns are singing from the same hymn sheet when we oppose.

“I am hopeful that all the parishes will agree with the paper and that we can present a strong opposition.”

North Bradley and Hilperton Parish Councils have already agreed to support the paper, with West Ashton and Southwick due to vote at their next meetings.

The paper outlines three possible routes that cars and HGVs could take to avoid the Bath charges, which will affect the A36 going into the city and London Road. The alternatives would take drivers through Bradford on Avon, through Trowbridge and North Bradley and the third, following the A350, would affect Chippenham, Melksham and Westbury.

The paper reads: “The A366 crossroads at Wingfield are already at capacity and at Bradford on Avon, the B3109 entry to the town is a single lane with alternating traffic flows followed by a historic skew hump-backed bridge across the Kennet and Avon Canal. This route is already at capacity and would only transfer the Bath air problem to the centre of the town.”

In regards to the Trowbridge and North Bradley route, it states: “This already overloaded route will soon be carrying many tons of stone, sand and steel needed for the HS2 trackbed plant already given planning permission at Trowbridge Road, Westbury.”

Commenting on increased use of the A350, it says: “This route travels through the centre of Westbury, which also has air quality problems which can only be worsened with carriage of the A36 to M4.”

Westbury Town Council will be holding a public meeting on November 16 from 5pm at the Laverton, where councillors will be discussing Cllr Prickett’s paper as well as other concerns about the consequences of the Bath clean air charges.

Members of the public are invited to attend to participate in the discussions.