After years and years of campaigning the residents of Bath’s iconic Circus have finally got their coach ban – albeit an experimental one.
From next Thursday, May 2nd, B&NES will introduce an order prohibiting buses – except authorised vehicles like the red bus touring service – from The Circus and surrounding road network.
Street signs will be going up to display the ban.
In announcing its decision the Traffic Management Team said: ” The Circus Area Resident’s Association has approached the Council on a number of occasions to highlight that unofficial buses and coaches are entering the area in order for their passengers to view and /or take photographs of the historic properties in The Circus.
These vehicles often do several circuits of The Circus or stop in the middle of the carriageway with their engines running.
There is an existing ‘prohibition of buses, except for access’ restriction in place on Brock Street, but this was originally introduced to prevent tour buses and coaches from driving past Royal Crescent, and does not prevent access to The Circus by unauthorised tour buses and coaches.’
The restriction will cover all of the roads that provide access to The Circus – creating a restricted zone.
‘Authorised buses’ would include a public service vehicle boarding and /or alighting passengers to commercial premises in the ‘zone’ or public service vehicles in operation on a scheduled tour bus service.’
The Traffic Management Team say that ‘whilst it is recognised that removing extraneous tour buses and coaches from The Circus area would be beneficial for local residents and the passage of official tour buses, it is unclear if the proposed restriction would successfully deter these vehicles.
It is proposed, therefore, that the restriction would be introduced on an experimental basis in the first instance.’
How successful the experiment is will be monitored by the residents. Such an experimental order can be in place for up to 18 months.
‘The Police are currently unable to offer sustained enforcement of restrictions of this nature, but they are supportive of these additional restrictions and have indicated that they may be able to carry out some targeted enforcement, if necessary.’
The restriction will require ‘gateway’ signing at each junction – which will be done next week.
Any formal objections or comments received by the local authority during the experimental ban would be considered before the restriction was either made permanent, modified or removed.
Bath Newseum spoke today to Richard Brown – who is Vice Chairman of CARA – and asked how he felt now the ban – albeit a temporary and experimental one – was coming into force.