Councillor Manda Rigby, who is Transport spokesperson for B&NES, wants the record put straight on what she says is incorrect information being circulated on social media regarding the local authority’s duty to consult on new road schemes.
In a statement today she says: “Incorrect claims are being made that Bath & North East Somerset Council did not consult with the South West Ambulance Service Trust on road schemes – specifically the Upper Bristol Road cycle scheme and the Southlands through-traffic restriction trial, which form part of our Liveable Neighbourhood programme. These claims are untrue but are being widely shared on social media and through other outlets.
“I want to make clear that as a statutory consultee the ambulance service is always consulted on highways schemes as are the other emergency services where the proposal might affect emergency services.
“For the record, the council wrote to SWAST twice in early 2021 on its proposals for cycle schemes including the Upper Bristol Road. It drew particular attention to the plans for separating the cycle lanes from other traffic lanes. In response SWAST offered no direct objections and in fact highlighted there were alternative areas for their vehicles to pull over.
“In relation to the trial at Southlands, SWAST was sent information and invited to comment on the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order for this trial scheme last November.
“Regrettably these facts were not provided by SWAST in its response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to a member of the public who is now sharing this incorrect response.
“SWAST has acknowledged this and are planning to issue a correction directly to the person who submitted the FOI request.”
A spokesperson from the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said: “We can confirm that the information provided as part of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request regarding consultation by Bath and North East Somerset Council was incorrect, and the council did consult with us on the forementioned schemes. We would like to offer our sincere apology to Bath & North East Somerset Council and to the member of the public who submitted the FOI request.”