B&NES has launched a new video and online map explaining access arrangements on some restricted streets in Bath following input with disability groups and individuals with lived experience.
The Council has introduced anti-terrorism security measures, which restrict vehicles in some city centre streets, in order to help protect the public.
In addition to guidance already on the council’s website, the new video explains access arrangements for Blue Badge holders.
Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for Transport, said: “I want to thank all those who worked with us to produce this short information video which complements the advice we have been giving on our website.
“Since the introduction of the city centre security scheme we have had more than 1,200 vehicles with disabled drivers or passengers accessing the restricted streets under the Blue Badge Holder exemption. The system has been running smoothly and we have had no complaints – with the exception of one driver who was refused entry because they were attempting to use a Blue Badge without the correct authorisation to gain access to the zone.”
Along with the film the council has produced an online map that shows the city centre restrictions but also additional, disabled, resident and loading bay parking facilities outside of the restricted area along with public seating so that people can plan and visit with confidence.
Work on the proportionate, preventative measures to protect public safety, are based on police advice, following extensive consultations, talks with businesses, residents and accessibility groups.
Currently the restrictions are managed with barriers and marshals under Anti-Terrorism Traffic Regulation Orders for:
- Lower Borough Walls, Stall Street, Abbeygate Street, Abbey Green, Swallow Street (south), Bath Street, Beau Street, and Hot Bath Street;
- Cheap Street, Westgate Street (including Parsonage Lane), Saw Close and Upper Borough Walls.
A tender for contractors to undertake the £1.5million scheme to install static and sliding bollards has gone out with the anticipation that work could start in June this year.
The tender includes work on York Street, which is the subject of a Public Inquiry. York Street had to be included in the tender because the council could not wait for the outcome of the inquiry and incur increased costs on a separate tender if the outcome upholds the ATTRO for York Street.
The council triggered the public inquiry for York Street after a member of the public upheld their objections to the proposed traffic regulation orders for anti-terrorism purposes in York Street. The Public Inquiry is set for April 26 in the Guildhall, Bath.
Councillor Rigby added: “We have submitted a tender for a contractor to undertake what will be complex work to install fixed and sliding bollards in the streets that have Anti-Terrorism Traffic Regulation Orders on them. It is anticipated the work could start in June subject to a successful tender.”
The security proposals include vehicle access restrictions on streets defined as crowded places in and around Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths while maintaining managed access to the city centre for residents, businesses and blue badge holders.
They were initially based on a counter-terrorism security survey on Bath city centre in September 2016 which identified the areas as being vulnerable to a potential hostile vehicle attack.
In February 2020 Avon & Somerset Police Chief Constable asked Bath & North East Somerset Council to consider an ATTRO covering the wider city centre of Bath which would be used in the event of a heightened threat, specific intelligence, as a result of an incident or if there are events taking place that create crowded places.
Following consultation with Counter Terrorism security advisors and the council, which centred around the crowded places indicated within the National Counter Terrorism Security Office report, it was considered proportionate to introduce permanent restrictions covering a smaller area in the city centre resulting in the current measures, which the Chief Constable supported.
The council has continued to work alongside the Counter-Terrorism advisors to protect these areas, through both physical measures and training for front line staff, both from public and private sector.
- Cheap Street, Westgate Street, Saw Close and Upper Borough Walls: vehicle access restrictions from 10am to 6pm, with controlled access permitted for Blue Badge holders and carers, or taxis carrying Blue Badge holders as a passenger.
- Lower Borough Walls, Stall Street, Abbeygate St, Abbey Green, Swallow Street (south), Bath Street, and Hot Bath Street; vehicle access restrictions from 10am- 6pm
- York Street: extend restricted access operating hours to 10am to 10pm, to support the increased footfall which is anticipated from Terrace Walk to the new Clore Learning and World Heritage Centres.
- Extra Blue Badge and resident permit parking and loading spaces nearby, but outside of the restricted area.
To implement or enforce parking restrictions of any kind on a public road, a Traffic Regulation Order first needs to be introduced. The city centre security scheme proposed uses a combination of TROs and Traffic Regulation Orders for anti-terrorism purposes.
The proposed orders were amended from the proposals first laid out by the council after listening to feedback from residents in its previous consultation, which ran from November 2020 to January 2021. They have also been informed by an independent Accessibility Study.