Plans to improve neighbourhoods and create healthier communities in Bath and North East Somerset are taking shape following the first stage of public engagement on 15 priority schemes.
Bath & North East Somerset Council received more than 1,600 responses to its recent engagement on 15 priority Liveable Neighbourhood schemes. The response was generally positive, with 51% supporting Liveable Neighbourhoods schemes, 36% expressing neutral views, and 13% against their implementation.
The engagement found many areas expressing a wish for changes to improve pedestrian safety, more traffic calming measures, and improved cycling infrastructure. Additionally, a desire for general improvement of the public realm was expressed.
A number of concerns were also raised. These included the perceived negative impact that implementation of Residents’ Parking Zones (RPZs) could have on communities and the potential impact of vehicle access restrictions. Concerns were raised that such measures would simply move an existing problem from one area to another.
The feedback is set out in a public engagement report and the council is now moving to the next stage of consultation. This will see Liveable Neighbourhood schemes either:
- being trialled, following consultation
- going forward for co-design with communities
There will also be consultation on six residents’ parking zones, to restrict out-of-area parking.
Councillor Sarah Warren, deputy council leader and cabinet member for Climate and Sustainable Travel, said: “I want to thank everyone who had their say and took part in our engagement, which ran from November to January. We had a great response and have now published a detailed report which is available on the council’s website.
“We will now move quickly to trial schemes in areas where there was strong support and the potential scheme is straightforward to implement. Once we have proposed designs ready we will consult on them.
“In other Liveable Neighbourhood areas, we will also now start work on the next stage of co-designing schemes with communities in response to the specific issues raised by residents. Please look out for details of events in your area over and please do take part.
“Additionally, where there has been local support for a residents’ parking zone to restrict out-of-area parking, we will be consulting on these schemes too. In addition to these six schemes, we have already consulted on an area in Oldfield Park and are working through the implications of the input received.
“I really want to emphasise that we will be paying close attention to the needs of all groups in the next phase of consultation and co-design. We are very aware that schemes have the potential to impact on neighbouring areas and we want to ensure fair access for all, so we create healthier spaces for everyone to benefit from.”
Liveable Neighbourhoods aim to give fairer access to residential neighbourhoods, creating healthier outdoor spaces for everyone to share, as well as vibrant local high streets where people want to spend time and money. This can be achieved through a range of measures such as improvements to the public realm, vehicle access restrictions such as planters, traffic calming and electric vehicle charging, without disadvantaging people with mobility issues. Our Equalities Impact Assessment is available on the council’s website.
Last year the council allocated £2.2m to develop and deliver Liveable Neighbourhood schemes. Fifteen areas were selected for Liveable Neighbourhood treatment by cabinet in June 2021.
Following the recent public engagement, the four trial areas where design work will be undertaken prior to public consultation are:
- Whitchurch & Queen Charlton: trialling vehicle access restrictions on Queen Charlton Lane to prevent through traffic, alongside design work for a pedestrian crossing on the A37 to the Parish play area. Co-design for other measures in Whitchurch.
- Southlands, Weston, Bath: trialling vehicle access restrictions on Southlands to reduce through traffic and design work on pedestrian crossing on Penn Hill Road.
- Church St & Prior Park Rd, Bath: investigate trialling vehicle access restrictions on Church Rd to reduce through traffic and design work on pedestrian crossing on Prior Park Road.
- Royal Victoria Park & Cork Street/Tennyson Road, Bath: trialling vehicle access restrictions for some entrances to Royal Victoria Park to eliminate through traffic from the park, and a trial vehicle access restriction for Cork Street/Tennyson Road.
Co-design will commence for the remaining areas in March 2022:
• Mount Road, Southdown, Bath
• Area bounded by Sydney Place, Great Pulteney Street, St Johns Road and Bathwick Street, Bath
• Circus/Lower Lansdown/Marlborough Buildings/ area
• Oldfield Lane & First/Second/Third Avenues, Bath
• Walcot Phase 1: London Road, Snow Hill, Kensington Gardens and adjacent roads, Bath
• Chelsea Road, Bath
• Entry Hill, Bath
• Morris Lane/Bannerdown, Batheaston
• (New) Sydney Place/Sydney Rd, Bath
• Edgerton Road/Cotswold Road, Moorlands, Bath
• Temple Cloud
• Lyme Road/Charmouth Road, Newbridge, Bath
Details of the next phase of co-design will be made available on the council’s website.
Six areas have been selected for the development of Residents’ Parking Zones:
• Walcot (including Snow Hill)*
• Beacon Road, Mount Beacon, Richmond Place
• Sion Hill / Summerhill Road
• St John’s Road, Edward Street, Audley Grove, St Michael’s Road, Audley Avenue, Cork Street, Hungerford Road
• Entry Hill*
• Chelsea Road, Kennington Road, Warwick Road, Foxcombe Road, Park Road, Lyme Road, Charmouth Road, Lyme Gardens*
* indicates that part of all of this area is also part of the liveable neighbourhoods programme