Your views are being asked for concerning proposed through-traffic restrictions in four trial locations in Bath and North East Somerset to help tackle anti-social driving and speeding in residential streets. The schemes are part of a community-led Liveable Neighbourhoods Programme.
A month-long online and in-person engagement has been launched at www.bathnes.gov.uk/LNpilots to gather comments about the four pilot locations which are within the 15 areas due to be improved under the first phase of the Liveable Neighbourhoods Programme.
Liveable Neighbourhoods aim to create healthier, safer outdoor spaces for everyone to share and typically they feature fewer vehicles, better routes for walking, cycling and wheeling, and more pleasant outdoor spaces.
A range of measures are used to create a Liveable Neighbourhood, such as wider pavements, new cycle lanes, additional crossings and outdoor seating. Through-traffic restrictions are only proposed where there is a compelling reason to introduce them or where there is significant support from communities.
Through-traffic restrictions on four residential streets are being proposed ahead of the wider Liveable Neighbourhood programme because of the high levels of support already expressed by some residents for these proposals, and to quickly improve the safety and quality of life for residents living in or around these streets.
The council is now asking the wider community to confirm its support, or share views, before it considers whether to trial the restrictions in the autumn under Experimental Traffic Restriction Orders (ETROs).
The engagement period, which runs until 5pm on 30 August is on the following streets:
- Queen Charlton Lane, Whitchurch Village
- Southlands, Weston
- Church Street, Widcombe
- Tennyson Road and Cork Street
In all four pilot locations, solutions are being proposed to restrict through traffic and prevent queue jumping. However, vehicle access would be maintained for residents and visitors, plus the emergency and other services.
The temporary through-traffic restriction could be a droppable bollard, a gate or a planter depending on the individual circumstances and after seeking views from agencies, including the emergency services. Vehicle turning areas would be provided, which in some cases may require a small loss of on-street parking. Pedestrians, cyclists and people with buggies, wheelchairs or driving mobility scooters would be able to pass through the restrictions unhindered.
Councillor Sarah Warren, deputy leader and cabinet member for Climate and Sustainable Travel, said: “These four locations were identified as suitable pilot interventions – ahead of wider improvements in the Liveable Neighbourhood Programme – following a previous engagement last December and again in recent community workshops where residents again expressed support for traffic restrictions in these locations to tackle anti-social driving.
“We want to check residents’ views before we trial the restriction on each street under an Experimental Traffic Order Regulation (ETRO). The order would allow people to formally comment on the restriction as they experience it over 12 months before making a final commitment on whether they would like to see it permanently installed.
“Along with physical interventions, we are working with residents – especially where issues have been identified – to reduce their reliance on cars where they can, especially for short trips that could be walked or wheeled. This is to help reduce congestion on all roads, improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions. Reducing car use also offers personal health, well-being and financial benefits. Developing Liveable Neighbourhoods is not all about introducing physical interventions and will rely in part on everyone finding healthier and more sustainable ways to do short journeys.”
In-person events are planned for each pilot area the details of which are also available online or via Council Connect and local libraries. Letters will also be sent to residents living in or near the roads where the restrictions are proposed.
The meetings are:
Church Street: 16 August at Widcombe Baptist Church, Pulteney Road (South), BA2 4JR between 4pm and 8pm.
Queen Charlton Lane: 17 August at Queen Charlton Village Hall between 4pm and 8pm.
Southlands: 18 August at Weston Free Church, High Street, Weston, BA1 4DJ, between 4pm and 8pm.
Tennyson Road and Cork Street: TBC please check online
Between last November and January more than 1,600 people responded to a series of questions about Liveable Neighbourhoods 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.
Several concerns were also raised. These included the potential impact of vehicle access restrictions, which some residents were concerned might simply move an existing problem from one area to another. Monitoring would therefore be undertaken, both prior to the modal filter being installed and during the trial.
The council has set out its Journey to Net Zero ambitions, to shift the way people get around, reduce emissions, improve air quality, improve public health, tackle congestion and reduce the impact of travel on the climate and the Liveable Neighbourhoods Programme plays a part in achieving this.
As part of the Liveable Neighbourhoods Programme, ward members also brought forward proposals for seven residents parking zones which have been consulted on and reports are now being prepared.
FOR YOUR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Last year the council allocated an initial £2.2m to progress the development and delivery of the Liveable Neighbourhood Programme. The 15 priority areas were selected by cabinet in June 2021.
You can read the engagement feedback report from the previous round of engagement here: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Liveable%20Neighbourhoods%20Engagement%20Report%20FINAL%20UPDATED%20%28002%29.pdf
The 15 priority areas are:
- Mount Road (Southdown, Bath)
- Area bounded by Sydney Place, Great Pulteney Street, St Johns Road and Bathwick Street (Bathwick, Bath)
- Whitchurch and Queen Charlton Village (Publow with Whitchurch and Saltford)
- Circus, Lower Lansdown, Marlborough Buildings, Royal Victoria Park and Cork Street area (Kingsmead and Lansdown, Bath)
- Oldfield Lane and First, Second and Third Avenue (Oldfield Park, Bath)
- London Road, Snow Hill, Kensington Gardens and adjacent roads, (Walcot, Bath) Phase 1
- Church Street and Prior Park Road (Widcombe and Lyncombe, Bath)
- Chelsea Road, Foxcombe Road (Newbridge, Bath)
- Entry Hill (Widcombe and Lyncombe, Bath)
- Southlands, Weston, Bath
- Morris Lane and Bannerdown (Batheaston, Bathavon North)
- (New) Sydney Place and Sydney Road (Bathwick, Bath)
- Egerton Road and Cotswold Road (Moorlands, Bath)
- Temple Cloud (Mendip)
- Lyme Road and Charmouth Road (Newbridge, Bath)
Journey to Net Zero is a longer-term plan to reduce the environmental impact of transport in Bath and to tackle some of the biggest challenges we face:
- Combatting climate change
- Improving air quality
- Improving health and wellbeing
- Tackling congestion
Journey to Net Zero, focuses on providing transport infrastructure and environments that will encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport, by making them a genuine alternative to the car while maintaining access for those whose needs cannot easily be met by more sustainable modes of transport.