Have you seen our Bath ‘by-pass’ ?

As a journalist l spent a working lifetime – within ITV and the BBC – being impartial and balanced in news gathering and presentation.

I still consider myself a journalist, but l am off the fence and seeing red.

Forgive me for now turning to a subject very close to my home but l am sure it is an issue repeated elsewhere in our region.


I sent off an email, a couple of days ago, to Cllr Anthony Clark. He is the cabinet member responsible for transport with Bath and North East Somerset Council and someone who l have been exchanging correspondence concerning the road in which l live.


I happen to be at the end of a terrace of houses that line one side of a rat-run. It’s a narrow, badly-surfaced slope of a street that allows traffic to avoid the London Road and take a around-the-houses route into town – or out via the A46 to the motorway.


At the top it forms one side of a dangerous cross roads – with a sharp turn down the hill into our road. A cross-roads with parked cars  often right up to the turning – obstructing the view.


The route down hill involves a bend to the right so you cannot see what is coming up. Many drivers speed down – hoping to get far enough to make traffic coming up give way.


There is a meagre sign at the bottom end to show its not suitable for wide vehicles but nothing more.


The narrow pavement side of the road is lined with bollards – but only because a mother campaigned for them after she and her baby in a push chair had to leap into a garden to avoid a  recklessly driven car.


Our next door neighbours – who have since moved – told me of running out to see an upturned car in the road and – since we have been here – our garden wall has been knocked down and bollards at the top and bottom hit by vehicles.


I have taken many pictures over the months of huge lorries and coaches using the short cut and have included a selection.


For the last couple of years our local councillors have done their bit to try and get council action. One described his efforts as being like having to push water up a hill.


The latest ‘leak’ from B&NES indicates that there is no money left in the budget to do anything and that is after being promised that traffic calming and other safety measures would be introduced by last summer!


We need yellow lines at the top, a safe crossing point at the bottom, a decent road surface and speed bumps – top and bottom.


I leave you with the email l sent to our friend Cllr Clark.

‘Dear Cllr Clarke,

I am informed now that there is nothing left in the highways budget to do anything for the residents of …………. Road. We are not surprised. I have lived here for five years – come February – and this dangerous road has been a constant hot potato throughout that time.

However, l am informed that particular ‘spud’ has been gently ‘baking’ for something like 20 years!

If B&NES could see sense and abandon the ridiculous east of Bath park and ride they would have cash to spend on the district’s roads. Never mind little ………. – have you seen the state of Great Pulteney Street?

Here’s hoping a Metro Mayor can shift up through a million gears to get this region moving again. We live with dinosaurs.’


I have yet to receive a reply.


  1. This makes me so angry Richard. As your previous Councillors, Bryan Chalker and I worked so hard to get this nightmare sorted, particularly Bryan. Over a half million pounds pay-off for a very incompetent, nay, corrupt Director of B&NES or a £150k early retirement settlement for a very inept Council legal eagle was easy-peasy. Putting down a few yellow lines, speed bumps and clear signage on what we all know to be a dangerous rat run seems beyond their budget, even though Bryan and I had it put in the budget a few years back.

    To overcome my deep frustration and prevent an early demise I decided I’d had enough of more potholes than road surfaces, closed public toilets, gull spewed litter and the asthma creating London Road pollution. I now reside in a little sea view cottage one mile west of Tenby where the roads are pristine, the toilets spotless and open, parking abundant and the folk care and talk to each other. Get down to Pembrokeshire sir and get a fresh air life.

    Whilst you cogitate that try pressurising Peter Dawson. He’s the main traffic guru who has the vision of a wet blanket and the ability to only listen to himself. Good luck!

    1. Dave – Radio Bristol are going to cover it. Are putting my pics on their Facebook page. So is the River Regeneration thing now dead in the water? I did not know you had moved on!!!

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