A fairer share of Bath buses?

Getting around inner city Bath has not been easy of late with traffic greatly affected by the resurfacing work in North Road.

This vital arterial route reopens early on Friday morning – October 28th – and one hopes things might ease.

However, there is no way we can kid ourselves that this town can cope for much longer with the volume of commercial and private traffic it is being asked to accommodate.

Bus after bus caught in today’s jams.

While millions are soon to be wasted on another park and ride  – which will take a few cars  off the London Road –  it doesn’t deal with the biggest need.

Wouldn’t take many of these to bring our city to a standstill.

Historic Bath is crying out for a relief road – a proper by-pass – and some effective traffic management.

Coaches and buses caught up on North Parade.

I couldn’t believe how many huge buses were caught up in today’s jams.

It was a regular convoy of one passenger-carrying vehicle after another. Many of them part of the subsidised service which ships students in and out of the city. Both of our universities have been built out of town.

More jams in West Street.

And while our under graduates get a regular flow of transport to and from academia – the residents of Larkhall district fight to retain their more modest connection with town.


There is a public meeting tonight – October 26th – at St Saviours Infant School – attended by  James Freeman who is Managing Director of First Bus, and  Cllr Anthony Clark who is B&NES Cabinet member for  transport.



  1. When you say the university have a regular flow it is kind of crazy the amount of buses they have going up and down all day to the Uni. They say on the back of the buses every few minutes. well I was following three one after the other last week and I passed two going up Bathwick Hill. Really I’m sure the students can wait more than a minute for a bus!.

    1. About 25,000 students need to get to various universities. Each bus can carry 80 students. There are a huge number of buses due to the huge number of students. Whether the buses need to travel through the city centre and can just avoid Manvers Street is another issue.

  2. Name: Roger Houghton

    Email: mail@rogerhoughton.co.uk

    Comment: Re. A fairer share of Bath buses?

    An interesting article, as usual. Have to take issue with some of the points, though.

    Firstly, are the university buses subsidised? Who by? And are subsidised buses a bad thing anyway? Isn’t the real problem the private cars and oversize delivery lorries?

    B&NES’s response – encourage more cars by opening the bus gate and disadvantage pedestrians by closing a pedestrian crossing in Dorchester Street (which people are still using but now without the safety of a red light).

    Link road: another white elephant that’s already been rejected by a public enquiry. See here for some detailed analysis: http://transitionbath.org/a36-a46-link-road-justified-alternatives

    Certainly something needs to be done.

    Daytime delivery ban. It’s common elsewhere – at present even more may be favouring Bath for the unrestricted daytime slots.

    Close more roads to cars. Why are most cars using North Parade Road anyway? Isn’t it often being used as a rat run? Look at best practice elsewhere, including our twin town of Aix.

    Ban long distance coaches from centre. Why, for example, do London coaches go through centre? They don’t pick up after bus station.

    Workplace parking levy, as in Nottingham.

    Localised congestion charge, as in Durham City.

    Improve the environment generally to encourage less car use: lots of examples here: http://www.streetfilms.org

    Best wishes,


  3. @Jane Clare The number of Uni buses are dictated by the capacity they have to carry. If the frequency was reduced, there would just be overcrowded buses & hundreds of students waiting at the Guildhall.

    @Richard W. Buses have a capacity of about 50-80. They take up the space of two/three private cars, whose occupancy is about 1.1. It’s clear what is causing congestion.

    @Roger H. I can’t believe North Parade is a rat run. Even motorists can work out it’s quicker through Widcombe than town.

    Most private vehicles in the centre are picking up/dropping off people who can’t be bothered to walk a few hundred metres. Dorchester Street bus gate needs to be reintroduced to discourage such behaviour.

Comments are closed.