Making room for people

If you follow The Bath Magazine – online – you’ll know l have already introduced a new word to Bath via an article in its Wednesday ‘mid-week briefing.’ It’s ‘parklets’ the name for a new intervention into urban street spaces.

Some of them have been installed in Bath’s Kingsmead Square as part of works to improve the evening economy and create a cleaner, greener public space, rebalanced in favour of pedestrians and cyclists.

There’s more to come next month in Milsom Street too.

The parklets, which incorporate seating and attractive planting, have been positioned by Bath & North East Somerset Council in former car parking bays.

It follows extensive consultation with local traders and the extension of temporary vehicle access restrictions in the Square, introduced in response to Covid-19.

Councillor Joanna Wright, joint cabinet member for Transport, said: “It has been a long-held ambition of residents and businesses in Kingsmead Square to reduce the dominance of vehicles and reclaim the roadway as public space and we’ve been working with the local community on the project for the past two years.

“The new parklets look great and fit well into the vibrant square where a European style, socially distanced, café culture is now blossoming in the traffic-free environment.

“So far the feedback we’ve received has been really positive and we’ll be consulting on a permanent vehicle access restriction for Kingsmead Square in the coming months.”

Jane Campbell-Howard, Company Director of Society Cafe added: “We are absolutely delighted with the incredible support we have received from Bath & North East Somerset Council. Not only have they pedestrianised the entire square, they have now installed these beautifully designed seating areas and bike parks. 

“This was all underway pre-Covid and we thought it might all get delayed but the team at Bath & North East Somerset Council have swung into action and made it all happen. It’s brilliant!”

The parklets which are the first to be installed in Bath and North East Somerset, have been manufactured by industry leaders ‘Meristem’, who have supplied similar urban installations in London and Liverpool.

Next month similar parklets will be installed in Milsom Street.

Vehicle access to Kingsmead Square is controlled by gates. Emergency services have access at all times. Outside the hours of 10am -10pm all vehicles are allowed as usual, enabling access to flats, shops and cafes for essential loading, servicing and refuse collection. 

Read more about how ‘parklets’ evolved via https://app.mlsend.com/u4v6f6