There is lots of talk – currently – about how Milsom Street could be quickly pedestrianised to help create a safe corridor into town – as and when the lockdown begins to ease.
Outside of the city centre, Moorland Road is the largest shopping district in Bath and the people of the Oldfield Park area should be able to feel just as safe says Cllr Shaun Stephenson-McGall.
He has set out his thoughts in an email to Bath Newseum – which l print in full.
During this critical moment when many across Britain are following government guidance to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives, B&NES Council is looking at how to make social distancing easier for all. We recognise that as we slowly come out of lockdown, all of us will need to take measures to maintain social distancing for the foreseeable future.
Outside the city centre, Moorland Road is the largest shopping district in Bath, and thus is a very important neighbourhood and provides many services to the local community and needs to be as attractive as possible. We want it to be a place that shoppers and residents can feel confident.
The Government is urging all of us who are contemplating returning to work to consider more active ways to travel like cycling and walking. It is crucial that we take the pressure off roads and public transport networks and rethink how we use private vehicles and where we park.
We are not the only Council doing this. Other Councils across the UK are looking at ways to improve social distancing measures on the Highways. In York, for example, they are looking at a one-way pedestrian system:
How can we do more to make cycling and walking more attractive? This Council is following guidance from the Department for Transport who want us all to walk and cycle more during this unprecedented pandemic.
So what is possible here in the wider Oldfield Park area?
Our vision is to create a connected city fit for the future, which will promote active travel, improve community health, reduce short car journeys and play our part in tackling the Climate Emergency.
We are asking for your ideas. Some residents have suggested wider pavements and removal of some parking. Closing Moorland Road has been suggested by others. Reducing the amount of goods for sale on the pavement to create more space is another. What do you think? What other ideas should we consider? How can we make Moorland Road and the surrounding areas into Liveable Neighbourhoods or Low Traffic Neighbourhoods(LTN)?
We need to work together to solve the pre-Covid-19 traffic and environmental problems with the fresh knowledge we now have all grained during this crisis. The Council is seriously strapped for cash due to the pandemic, using our limited budgets and resources well is critical.
The post-pandemic Moorland Road shopping district and surrounding residential communities needs to be the best it can be, for everyone.
Please let us know your views via email. The links to local Councillors can be found here:
Cllr Shaun Stephenson-McGall (Oldfield Park Ward)
Cllr Jess David (Moorlands Ward)
Cllr Joanna Wright (joint Cabinet Member for Transport (Lambridge Ward)
Cllr Dine Romero (Leader, B&NES Council (Southdown))
Jonathan Alcock (Lib Dem spokesperson, Westmoreland Ward)