Bike stands and benches.

Bath seems to be developing a major outbreak of bike-stand-and-bench-itis.

High Street now offering a bike park paradise!
High Street now offering a bike park paradise! (Double-click on images to enlarge)

It IS good to see even more parking facilities for two-wheelers being installed  – opposite the rank already accepting bikes outside the Guildhall – but this time on the other side of the High Street,

As a dependent cyclist –  meaning l use it for daily transport and not as a week-end lycra and flash helmet appendage – l welcome these extra facilities and an inferred acknowledgement of how such physical pedalling can bring benefits in the reduction of traffic congestion and pollution and as a major contributor to increased health and fitness.

Benches at the Guildhall
Benches at the Guildhall

However, it seems B&NES is doing its bit for the sedentary folk as well with an explosion of new street furniture. New benches are lined up outside the Guildhall and along the north side of Bath Abbey – no doubt for the use of weary pedestrians.

Benches at the Abbey
Benches at the Abbey

They have a sort of G-Plan look to them. The Abbey exterior now taking on the appearance of a railway station platform  – but in these parts many platform benches  still bear the old ‘GWR’ insignia whereas these new street seats say nothing of Bath.

They would be at home in any town, anywhere.

Sounds like l am describing a typical shopping centre. You know – seen one – seen them all. Same shops – just different town.  It is at least street ‘clutter’ that serves a purpose.

Smoker's zone bench in Northumberland Place
Smoker’s zone bench in Northumberland Place

Not too sure though how one of these new seats has ended up in Northumberland Place. One of the streets in Bath that does offer a greater variety of individual traders.

Spot the cigarette butts in this bench-sized ashtray!
Spot the cigarette butts in this bench-sized ashtray!

It seems to have adopted a role in providing a smoker’s seating zone for shop workers – judging by the number of fag ends already lodged between its wooden slats.