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Here’s an anniversary that’s painful for motorists and B&NES councillors alike. The day works began on the Cleveland Bridge – one year ago today.

Bridges are constructions that do need maintenance and repair AND upgrading as traffic crossing it gets heavier. All the problems concerning this listed structure have fallen on to the Lib Dems ‘watch’ as the current B&NES controlling party.

Not surprisingly the Conservative group on the council feel this is a ‘milestone’ that should be ‘marked’ with a statement.

Here’s what they sent me:

Cllr Vic Pritchard, Leader of the Conservative Group on Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: “Cleveland Bridge is one of our city’s most treasured heritage assets and this conservation effort is essential to its long term survival.

“While I fully appreciate that significant challenges can arise with a project of this nature, I am disappointed by how badly this work has been handled by the Liberal Democrat administration.

“Today we are one year into a project that was only supposed to take six months to complete. The disruption it has caused has been severe. Congestion has increased, journey times are up, tourists have been put off from visiting and popular events such as the Bath Half Marathon have been canceled.

“On top of this, the Cabinet member responsible has failed to keep residents and councillors properly updated on progress, leaving us all completely in the dark.

“Highways projects are never easy. But I urge the administration to do all it possibly can to ensure the work is completed as quickly as possible in order to get traffic moving again.”

Well, that’s one party’s view and here’s a reaction from Cllr Manda Rigby who is the Lib-Dem cabinet member responsible for Transport.

In an email she told me:

“Below are the links to some of the news releases that have gone out, in addition to stakeholder updates, social media posts and face-to-face updates with residents and businesses most affected.     

News releases are sent to

  • all local regional press,
  • all councillors;
  • two MPs
  • all parish councils
  • posted on the newsroom,
  • shared in the residents’ weekly newsletter e-connect
  • posted on corporate social media/facebook/insta/nextdoor channels

At the start of the closure, we ran radio advertising to advise on the diversions and closure.

Not sure what data/evidence is being used to say tourists are being put off, Heritage Services report that Good Friday to Easter Monday were their busiest four days at the Roman Baths since before the pandemic.”

This is what we said about the Bath Half   



Cleveland Bridge media updates








1 Comment

  1. Political point-scoring here. I doubt that any of the political parties would have been able to manage it any differently. The only long-term solution is to demolish it and build another one. That would take 2-3 years (at least). In the meantime, Bath will have to learn to live with whatever ‘work-arounds’ can be arranged – as it has for the past 12 months.

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