Bath’s MP, Ben Howlett has had a response from the government to the petition – signed by more than 3,000 residents – requesting aid in constructing an A36-46 link road to improve transportation, reduce congestion and provide economic benefit to Bath.
Transport Minister, John Hayes, gave the following response to the petition:
“I greatly appreciate Mr Howlett’s efforts in campaigning on this matter and welcome him bringing this important issue to the Government’s attention.
I recognise the importance of an efficient road network in supporting economic growth across the country, and the environmental benefits of moving long-distance traffic away from built-up areas.
For these reasons, the Department takes a long-term approach to guaranteeing substantial funding for strategic roads, such as the A36 and A46, through five-year Road Investment Strategies (RISs).
“I have been made aware of concerns about congestion around the east side of Bath, where north/south traffic travelling between the A46 and A36 has to enter the city and use the Cleveland Bridge across the Avon.
I am also mindful of the economic, environmental and health benefits that an improved road network in the area might bring, along with the challenges of building adjacent to this unique urban and natural environment.
Bath and North East Somerset Council and Highways England are considering a wide range of options, including construction of a link road, to alleviate the current problems. The findings from this work, along with other evidence I receive, will inform my decisions about further investment in the strategic road network in the area.”
Commenting on the response Ben Howlett said:
“Residents will know I have long been campaigning for the construction of the A36-46 link road. This is long overdue. We need to do as much as possible to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution in our beautiful city.
I am also keen at this time of uncertainty to do what I can to improve Bath’s infrastructure to maximise the city’s economic attractiveness. At this time two major trunk roads converge in the city centre, which has created problems for decades and I will work tirelessly to alleviate them.
“I am delighted the Government alongside Bath and North East Somerset council and Highways England are considering a link road as an option and will continue to make representations and keep up the pressure to ensure this happens”