Consultation favours skateboard facility for Alice Park.

A park and ride site east of Bath isn’t the only facility being pushed for at this end of the city.

A committee meeting at the Guildhall today ( Monday, August 22nd) will receive the results of a public consultation regarding the setting up of a skateboard amenity at Alice Park.

Alice Park
The Alice Park sign.

B&NES set aside £100,00 as part of a programme to improve the quality of parks and play provision in the district after receiving a petition in 2013 of 572 names calling for such a play area to be set up.

There has been a total of 282 responses to the public consultation with an overall 2:1 in favour of the skate park.

The skateboard site – across the city – at Royal Victoria Park

From the survey results – to be presented to the Alice Park Sub-Committee – the main reasons cited for favouring the development of the Skatepark were: 

A Skatepark would promote healthy lifestyles and physical challenges

It would promote a sense of community – through the social side of skate parks

There are not enough facilities for young people in the east of Bath

A Skatepark would keep young people occupied and out of trouble

It would create a safe place for children to develop a sense of independence

From a minority of responses (those not in favour of the skate park), the main objections to the scheme were that a new skate park would:

Cause increased parking problems in the vicinity of the park

Lead to a change to the landscape and loss of tranquil aspects of the park

Contribute to more people urinating publically in bushes and against trees rather than paying the recently introduced toilet charge of 20p

Bring increased anti-social behaviour.

The survey report continues: ‘One of the prime reasons for building a skate park is to encourage families with a range of children to visit the park and to keep young people playing outside for as long as possible. Bath has a higher than average level of childhood obesity, and every opportunity is being sought to encourage a pattern of healthy lifestyles.

Such lifestyles will carry them into adulthood with physical activity and social interaction at its core. It has been shown that children will play outdoors until the age of 11 with little encouragement needed, but after that age, it is the family involvement that will set a pattern for life.

With parents asking for more for their older children to do in the park, the new skate park would assist parents by encouraging their children to go outdoors and stay active.’

Alice Park
Alice Park.

The report concludes:

‘There was a good response to the consultation (282 recorded responses), with a clear majority in favour of the development of a skate park in Alice Park (68%: Yes; 29%: No).

There are existing concerns about parking and road safety along Gloucester Road and the commissioning of a specialist parking and traffic survey would be advisable as part of a project to build a skate park in Alice Park.

Parking around the park can already be a real safety issue.

Those opposed to the scheme have concerns that a new Skatepark would increase the number of incidences of anti-social behaviour and these would need to be addressed through improved surveillance by a partnership of police, council officers and the community. There would also need to be a clearly publicised reporting system for those who witness incidents of this kind.

An appetite for improving other facilities in the park suggests that an investment in improving the tennis courts would be welcomed by park users’.

1 Comment

  1. What evidence is there that the skate park at Victoria Park produces anti-social behaviour? Are the people surveyed basing their responses on preconceived ideas about “youth”?

    Interestingly Sydney Gardens is being remodeled. It would be interesting to know if any outreach was made to kids as part of that process to determine if a skate park should be part of the gardens.

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