Could this help reduce the A boards?

Could this help reduce the A boards?

While B&NES and BID are searching around for an A-board compromise – can l suggest tat this advertising board – spotted in Walcot Street – may point the way to a better arrangement.


What you call a ‘collective’ A board in Walcot Street.

The A board bears the names of several businesses and indicates the direction in which you will find them.

Surely this is better than a line of individual obstacle – spreading across the pavement?

PS Very pleased to see a replacement sapling doing very well – thank you – in Laura Place. The original tree was diseased and had to be felled. The first replacement suffered wind damage and died.


Second attempt at replacing the tree felled in Laura PLace.

Let’s hope this one has a chance to grow. I still think Great Pulteney Street should be tree planted again. It can be a big empty space at times!

Second canal towpath closure coming up!

Second canal towpath closure coming up!

The second section of canal-side towpath – from the Grosvenor Bridge incline to the entrance to the Sydney Gardens tunnel – will close on May 11th for up to three months.


This is the second half of the route to be improved. From the Grosvenor Bridge access incline to the Sydney Gardens tunnel.

Notices to that effect have gone up along the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath today. It’s the continuation of a scheme to improve the whole length of towpath into the city – to benefit pedestrians and cyclists.

A base layer of tarmac has now been applied to the length of path between the George Inn at Bathampton and Candy’s bridge.


Looking down on a section of towpath that has been re-surfaced. The top grit layer will come later.

Now – after the May Day bank holiday – it will be time to tackle the rest of the route – including a new surface for the incline up to the canal.


The incline leading up to the towpath – which will also be closed

It’s hoped to re-open the whole length of towpath into Bath in mid-July. Once the tarmac has been done on the second stretch  – the whole length will be given a top coating of stone chippings.


The steps up to the canal towpath

I am hearing there may some money remaining in the budget – after costing this job –  to improve the step route up to the canal towpath – from Grosvenor Bridge – and apply some sort of stone chipping surface to the small path that branches off from the incline towards the footbridge over the railway.


The side path – leading off to the pedestrian rail footbridge – will be re-surfaced but only – it’s understood – with chippings.

This will certainly benefit the Cleveland Pools Trust in improving one pedestrian access way towards their site.


The view from a bridge. How demolition would make new link to restored lido.

The view from a bridge. How demolition would make new link to restored lido.

Shoppers and residents in Bath are having an opportunity to look over plans to renovate and re-open Cleveland Pools this week.IMG_7920

As part of a public consultation exercise, the concept designs to bring this last remaining open-air Georgian lido back into use, are being displayed in Milsom Street tomorrow and Friday ( April 28th & 29th).

It’s going to cost millions but – with the continued help of the Heritage Lottery Fund – it’s hoped to have the pool open again for swimming early in 2018.

cleveland pools

Cleveland Pools.

No doubt members of the Cleveland Pools Trust have been enjoying many conversations with people who either remember swimming there or have an opinion on the future re-birth.

This bright but chilly morning found me on the part of the towpath into Bath that is still open to pedestrians and cyclists.


Looking down on a section of towpath that has been re-surfaced. The top grit layer will come later.

You’ll probably already know that the whole stretch – from the George Inn at Bathampton to the entrance to the Sydney Gardens canal tunnel – is gradually being re-surfaced.


The side path – leading off to the pedestrian rail footbridge – will be re-surfaced but only – it’s understood – with chippings.

At the top of the incline – leading up from Grosvenor Bridge – is a side path that goes directly to the footbridge across the main railway line and down onto Hampton Row.

It is going to be a vital route-way  for people who may come to the re-opened Cleveland Pools on foot.


The old bridge leads down now to Hampton Row.

The bridge was built to link platforms on either side of the railway line at what was Hampton Row Halt.

The station was built as a rail connection for the eastern suburbs of Bath. It opened as a railway station in 1907 for Great Western Railway stopping train services from Bristol, Swindon and Westbury, Wiltshire.


The old rail crossing at Hampton Row Halt.


It was open for only a short period as – at the same time – trams and motor transport were becoming more commonplace. As a street, Hampton Row leads only on to the canal towpath, which limited the station’s accessibility.

The station was closed on 25 April 1917 as an economy measure during the First World War – along with Twerton Station, which served the west of the city. Neither station reopened when peace came.

The rusty footbridge will now be replaced as part of the multi-billion pound electrification programme that will eventually see new trains and shorter journeys between London and the West.

Cleveland Pools are hoping the replacement might leave a little room for a bike stand or two.


The derelict and forgotten end of Hampton Row.

The one thing alongside the line that won’t be replaced any time soon is the derelict and blighted end of Hampton Row. This part of the terrace was compulsory purchased years ago to make way for a road scheme that never happened.


This part of the terrace was going to make way for a new road which was never built.

Now back in private hands it stands forgotten – covered in rusting scaffolding and graffiti – as a monument to grand ideas and a lack of action in forcing the owner to do something with it or sell it back to B&NES.


A rather sad view from a bridge!

It’s amazing to think this bleak and barren facade has a Grade 2 listing and while l am normally the first to stand in front of a bulldozer l wish here the listing could be lifted and the end houses demolished to create another much easier way through to Cleveland Pools.

Exactly what does it take to get things moving here?


Festival of Nature set to make waves with River Avon theme for 2016

Festival of Nature set to make waves with River Avon theme for 2016

The Bristol to Bath Festival of Nature is taking to the water this summer, offering wildlife-lovers of all ages the chance to go on a wild adventure along the River Avon.  This is the first time in its 14-year history that the festival has included the city’s waterscapes as part of the programme and it will allow participants to take a journey along the river, uncovering the delights of the Avon and the wildlife it is home to.715f2bae-8741-468c-a6de-0110c8dfed6d

The festival is also extending its programme this year to include events in Keynsham on Sunday 19 June before culminating in Bath in Royal Victoria Park for its finale on Saturday 25 June.

Arts, performances and workshops will spring up on river banks en-route as the Festival meanders along  the Avon over the course of the two weeks.

The festival gives people the opportunity to discover and enjoy the natural world through an imaginative programme of hands-on activities, workshops, performances, celebrity talks, local market stalls and much more. It also encourages people to take positive action to support and protect wildlife in their area.

A Waterblitz is also being planned to help raise awareness of water quality issues across the Bristol Avon Catchment. Organisations, community groups, schools and members of the public will have the opportunity to collect water samples from freshwater bodies (streams, ponds, lakes) to create a snap shot of water quality levels at a catchment scale.

Volunteers can now register to help out at the festival by filling in the form at this link:

Is this the Sydney Gardens rig for electrification?

Is this the Sydney Gardens rig for electrification?

This is the way electrification may well be carried through Bath’s historic Sydney Gardens.

My thanks to Noel Dolphin of Furrer+Frey for sending me the  ‘3D pdf of the electrification cantilever for Sydney Gardens.’


Noel Dolphin Furrer+Frey

Founded in 1923, Furrer+Frey, the electrification company, specialises in railway electrification systems ranging from 600V to 25kV and covering mountain lines, intercity lines, urban traffic, rack railways, normal and narrow gauge railways, narrow tunnels etc.

The overhead line equipment  is his company’s design – but the cantilevered structure is by Atkins Global – one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies.IMG_8103

They are contracted to Network Rail for the electrification of the Great Western line.  Atkins Global did the 3D PDF.IMG_8101

The structure is currently a proposal for BANES – as part of the concept design. However, it’s thought this is the agreed concept with BANES, although the detailed design has not started.

I hope that helps, any questions just let me know.

A board alternative to be trialled

A board alternative to be trialled

A novel way of signposting Bath businesses is likely to be trialled in an effort to clear ther streets of some of the A boards that have been criticised for obstructing pedestrianised streets and pavements.


Louise Prynne, Chief Exec Bath Business Improvement District (BID)

Louise Prynne, Chief Executive of the Bath Business Improvement District (BID), said:

“The BID is currently sourcing options for a trial of totem pole designs. These will allow businesses to signpost themselves without presenting a hazard, and will also enhance wayfinding around the city centre.

A boards

Is this Bath’s version of Beecher’s Brook?

Retailers we have spoken to have welcomed the news that the Bath BID is taking a proactive approach in partnership with the Council to develop and progress an innovative solution.”