Proposals to throw a more physical security zone around the city centre is concerning – according to Bath Newseum regular Michael Noakes.
In an email he said: ‘Following the damage Covid has caused to city centre shops and business, I am very concerned that the council’s city centre security zone will be the final straw that turns Bath into a ghost city to which nobody (tourists included) wants to come.
I cannot help but feel that their response is disproportionate to the perceived risk of motorised terrorism. Most terrorist incidents in the UK were perpetrated by bombers with back packs who arrived by public transport or on foot.
Westminster bridge has barriers separating pedestrians from traffic; surely we could have kerbside bollards to complement those protecting pedestrianised areas like Abbey Church Yard where people congregate in large numbers in normal times.
I feel sorry for residents in the proposed zone and particularly for disabled people who will be seriously disadvantaged by loss of access and loss of on-street parking (eg single yellow lines) outside the zone’.
Michael is also not too happy with some aspects of the newly-introduced Clean Air Zone.
‘I am concerned that the CAZ may deter coach tours because coach firms have had such a torrid time through the lockdowns that, as expressed by a representative of coach firms on the TV news, many cannot afford to upgrade their coaches to meet the CAZ requirements and would be reluctant to pay the CAZ charges.
Bath relies heavily on tourism and there is this potential for the City to lose out!’