Seeing red in Union Street

Well, the first of the new seats that are intended to improve the environment and trading opportunities of Bath’s pedestrianised Union Street, are now in place.

Judging by the pictures l took this morning, the benches are already proving popular.

However, l do have to say. Who chose the colour scheme for the flower troughs to go with them?

The first of the new seats. Matching the lady’s case!

Red doesn’t strike me as being the right branding for a city that celebrates water in all its shapes and forms.

With  its thermal and cold springs, a popular spa and a still under-utilised river, l would have gone for a light blue.


For me it just picks up the company colours of Pret a Manger!

The scheme is costing £170,000 and is shared between B&NES and Bath BID – through local traders.


It will includes a pilot aiming to test the concept of bespoke, branded stalls in the city to celebrate the ‘Union Street Independent Traders’ as a destination.

I have asked the Council and Bath BID for comment,  but what do our readers think?

Unofficially, l hear they were ordered by the previous Tory administration, so l am amazed they aren’t blue!

Good to hear from Alison Herbert who is the Chief Executive of Bath BID. She agrees with me that the benches are already proving popular but – as to the colour?

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Allison Herbert, CEO of Bath BID.

Alison said:

All the design work was consulted on with business groups and council teams.  There is a huge amount to take into consideration.

The colour is one of the recommended colours for the city’s public realm which is published in the Bath Pattern Book.

The consensus was that a bright and cheerful colour on Union Street was desirable.

I hope that you will come and have another look once they are all planted up.   As they are designed to hold summer and winter planting,  they will be planted up seasonally, with some perennial elements.”   

I am sure they will look lovely. The company who manufacture this street furniture is Vestre and their head office is in Oslo in Norway.

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I have had a look through their furniture and – guess what – they do street stuff in blue.

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  1. Horrible colour and I agree with you. Richard. Still this city does not celebrate all the water which it is sitting upon.

  2. What a shame, so much to choose from that would be more appropriate to Bath. I also noted the state of the hanging baskets in the top picture.

  3. I agree that the colour red for the benches was a terrible choice. In a more modern city centre maybe they could work but as a choice for Bath the design of the benches ( Scandinavian) and in particular the colour very much clashes with the surrounding Georgian architecture and in my opinion look hideous. Also I wonder is the choice of these benches what is proving popular with the general public or is it, and I feel this far more likely to be the case, these are now the only benches to sit on so anyone wanting to sit down will have to use these whether they like them or not?

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