Two central Bath streets will be temporarily closed, under Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders to allow advance works to install safety bollards as part of a city-centre security scheme.
The Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTROs) will enable road closures to be placed on Cheap Street and Hot Bath Street – ready for when the utility work starts in August.
The orders for the road closures are for six months and will only be in place during the works and when signs and marshals are in position.
Access for Blue Badge holders will be maintained on Cheap Street, Westgate Street, Upper Borough Walls, however, access and egress routes will change, as the works start and progress – these will be signposted and marshals will be available to help people.
Bath & North East Somerset Council will be writing to residents, businesses and Blue Badge holders this week to explain alternative access arrangements for Cheap Street as well as details of webinars where people can ask questions of the project team. Details of these will also be found on the project webpage.
Initial fibreducting work, as part of the council scheme to install security measures, started in June and is progressing well with works now complete ahead of schedule in Burton Street and Terrace Walk
The contractor carrying out the work has now moved to Lower Borough Walls and Hot Bath Street to complete the final stage of ducting works, these are expected to be complete by mid September.
The first stage of installing the permanent measures were the advance works required for ducting and the movement of utilities prior to the installation of the hostile vehicle mitigation sliding and static bollards.
Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for Transport, said: “We are installing the permanent proportionate and preventative measures which will protect public safety, based on police advice. We will do all we can to minimise disruption as we carry out this complex work which is going to take many months.
“As we have done all along we are keeping residents, businesses and any other directly affected users informed about this work including advice on alternative access arrangements via temporary diversions and the use of traffic marshals in order to minimise any disruption.”
Due to the unique nature of the city and highway construction, there are a number of challenges within the programme. These include working above existing vaults and cellars, working in close proximity to utility apparatus and maintaining access to the restricted streets for exempt vehicles.
The council has carried out investigative works but until contractors get on site the construction timeline is estimated and completion dates can’t be guaranteed. Any residents or businesses wishing to receive regular e:newsletters on the scheme can visit our project webpage
In February 2020 Avon & Somerset Police Chief Constable asked the 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.
A recent public inquiry into the closure of York Street found the council had a ’clear and compelling case’ to close the street that this was a ‘proportionate response’. It also found that the council had carried out an ‘extensive consultation exercise’.