Bath & North East Somerset Council is holding a public exhibition about improvement plans for the Seven Dials area of Bath at the Guildhall on Tuesday, September 16.
A £1.2 million grant from the Department for Transport’s Cycle City Ambition programme is being used to improve the area for walking and cycling.
Benefits will include:
· More space and better facilities for pedestrians. Flush surfaces across the area rather than kerbs thereby improving accessibility, particularly for people with disabilities or those using pushchairs.
· Increased access for cyclists allowing them to cross Seven Dials to take advantage of new contraflow routes being created on surrounding streets.
· Investment in high-quality surface materials that will improve the look of the area which, alongside the forthcoming regeneration of Saw Close, will make it a much more pleasant environment for local people, businesses and visitors.
Seven Dials, incorporating Kingsmead Square and Saw Close, is the historic west gate of Bath the city where seven routes met and lies to the west of the city’s main thoroughfare.
This project aims to improve the area as a public space with more focus on the needs of people walking and cycling through the delivery of a ‘shared space’. At the moment far more pedestrians than cars use the area around Seven Dials but, because they don’t have sufficient space on the footway, often have to step into the road, putting them at risk. Removing the notion of motor vehicles automatically having priority by removing distinctions between road and footway will require all users to have more awareness of others and co-operate to move around safely. Taking such steps to make the area more walkable and cycle-friendly is also an opportunity to invest in the city’s urban fabric.
Councillor Caroline Roberts, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “This investment is a key element of our strategy which aims to make Bath the UK’s most walkable city. It links to the priorities of the emerging wider transport strategy Getting Around Bath which will emphasise sustainable travel to reduce congestion and support the long-term economic strategy for the area.
“The expanding route network will also support the nextbike scheme, launched in July, which is proving extremely popular with visitors and local people.”
In designing this, the Council has listened to a variety of stakeholders on the designs including the RNIB, Guidedogs for the Blind, The Cycling Forum and local ward Councillors.
Work is expected to start in the new year, after the Christmas embargo (November 25 – January 5), which is put in place across all road projects to avoid any disruption to local businesses over the busy Christmas period.
The exhibition at The Guildhall will be open to the public from midday to 6pm and will be an opportunity view the plans and ask questions.
Those who can’t attend but who are interested should visit the Council’s web pages – http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sevendials
Residents and businesses around Seven Dials will shortly receive a leaflet about the plans. Anyone else without access to the internet who would like this written information should contact: Strategic Transport Projects, First Floor South Block, Riverside, Temple Street, Keynsham BS31 1LA or phone 01225 395419