Upper Borough Walls closure

[artist’s impression]

Now we know what all those multi-colpoured markings are for in the city centre. Pointing out where the various underground services are ahead of the planned closure of Upper Borough Walls as part of the next phase of security improvements in Bath city centre. 

The closure, for advance works ahead of the installation of permanent security bollards, will begin on 26 September.  The works are expected to be completed in November ahead of the Christmas embargo, prior to commencing the main works in January which are expected to take another five months to complete. 

The road will be closed between Union Street and Northgate Street. However, Blue Badge holders and other exempt vehicles will still be able to access and park in the secure zone between 10am and 6pm. 

Pedestrian access will be maintained for people who are walking or wheeling and the works in footways will be subject to pedestrian controls (like temporary walkways) to facilitate works and to keep people safe. The construction works will not prevent traders, or their customers, from accessing their premises and all affected businesses and Blue Badge holders will be communicated with directly. 

In advance of the works trial hole investigation works, to inform our design, will start from Monday 11th September for two weeks. The work will be carried out within the Union Street footway only and will not affect vehicular access along Upper Borough Walls.

Residents and businesses are being invited to a drop-in information session on Thursday 7th September from 2pm – 6.30pm in the Drawing Room in the Roman Baths where they will be able to meet the project team and give their feedback on the works approach and proposed management of waste collection and deliveries.  

Councillor Manda Rigby, cabinet member for Highways, said: “There is still access using the diversion route and we will do all we can to keep disruption to a minimum. The way the works are progressing are complex and this means some arrangements may change so we will endeavour to keep everyone informed as much as we can.

“I’d urge all those businesses, residents and Blue Badge holders who will be affected by the closure of Upper Borough Walls to come along and talk to the project team and discuss any concerns they may have at the drop-in session.” 

During the works diversions will be clearly signposted and marshals will be available at Westgate Buildings. Entry to Westgate Street, Saw Close and Upper Borough Walls will be via a temporary entrance at the junction of Westgate Street and Westgate Street Buildings, with the exit via Barton Street/Wood Street/Quiet Street and New Bond Street. Drivers must exit New Bond Street to the left to avoid the busgate between 10am and 6pm. 

Deliveries and waste collections will still be possible before 10am and after 6pm initially via Westgate Buildings, with alternative parking and loading available nearby on the High Street and New Bond Street. Once the new automated sliding bollard at Cheap Street is operational, entry will then resume at the entrance of Cheap Street at its junction with High Street, this date will be communicated closer to the time. 

Due to the unique nature of the city and highway construction, the programme faces a number of challenges. 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.   

For more information about the works including diversion routes or to request regular e:newsletters on the scheme visit our project webpage

Background to the city centre security scheme:  

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. 

Further information on the access restrictions can be found at www.bathnes.gov.uk/bathcitycentreaccess