Urban spaces

I spend a lot of time in Bath’s urban spaces and – unfortunately – am often critical of their upkeep or layout.

I have to praise the early stages of humanising the Southgate Shopping area – starting with the new Brunel Square by the railway station.

Yes – this works!

The trees – and surrounding circular benches – look wonderful. It is an area now where people can rest – or wait for incoming or outgoing trains – instead of a space one just crosses on your way to somewhere else.

Inspiring isn’t it?!


Contrast that with the hideous re-defining of the Saw Close with its clumsy steps, bike stands, plastic shrubs and bus-station-styled benches.

l love bikes but NOT here!

If we were having a competition for Bath’s worst public spaces it would be top of my list!

Where shall we go first?

Briefly, back to Brunel Square. I have a dreadful habit of checking public signage for spelling mistakes.

Grand Pump Room?

I am pleased to say there are none on the newly-installed stone bench which – on either side – celebrates many of the city’s attractions.


Nothing is spelt incorrectly but ‘Grand’ Pump Room isn’t quite right. The bronze plaque on the front of this fine Georgian edifice says ‘Great Pump Room.’