Life on a rat run

Life on a rat run

There are road safety and traffic issues all over the city of Bath but forgive me if l just mention the one nearest to home. In fact it’s outside our front door.

We – my husband and l – live in a road which is a well-worn rat run during the morning and evening rush hours. Having lived here now for six years l am well aware of the history of our safety problem which has festered for 20 years and more.


The sort of traffic we don’t want to see.

We have bollards edging a narrow pavement on one side only because a mother campaigned for something to be done after a car mounted the side walk and narrowly missed her and her baby in the wheel chair she was pushing.

The road is two way. B&NES deliberated over a one way system but this came to nothing apparently because the residents couldn’t agree which way that would be – up or down our hill.

They won’t put speed bumps down – not even one at either end. At the top of our road is a busy crossroads but where cars park right up to the crossing and you cannot safely pull out because you cannot see what is coming.


The dangerous crossroads at the top of our street. Vehicles on the right mean you cannot see what is coming if you are driving up the hill.

There is a bus stop on the corner. B&NES is supposed to be painting in white bus stop space lines – in the hope this may push vehicles away from the corner – but nothing has been done.


Our front garden wall in pieces.

We had our front garden wall knocked down a couple of years ago by a vehicle reversing and not looking where he or she was going. They didn’t leave us a ‘sorry’ note.

There is a small patch of grass to one side of our drive which is gouged up by the wheels of reversing cars and lorries who have lost the ‘stand -off’ battle we often witness between one coming up and one coming down.


An attempt to stop vehicles ruining the patch of grass.

We put white painted rocks in place to try and deter this but they have been thrown into the road by the tyres of a vehicle which also gouged out the grass. Certainly hope they have a good scratch from the stones to take away with them.


Have put the two stones back but it’s left a gouge.

What do you do to get this Council to stir itself. I would try lying in the road but so many rat runners go so fast l wouldn’t stand a chance.

We have a small sign saying the road is not fit for wide vehicles but l am sure no one spots it. The lane on the other side of the cross roads has had a width restriction sign for longer but its now almost covered by ivy.


A really effective sign eh?

It was good to see groups of people mobilising themselves to fight to save  Bathampton Meadows and the Central Library at the Podium (though it’s still got to make room for the One Stop Shop).

Maybe it’s time to spread this action group wider or create a local party to fight the next local election. Unfortunately that is not until 2019.

PS. I want another bollard on the grass verge and l want it now!




A message – and point of view – from Bob Draper…..

‘Come on Bathonians – Get out your angle grinders & welding torches….!

Having seen someone almost swept off their feet on the lower pavement on the north side of George St. by the front overhang of a tourist bus coming up from Queen Square  I wondered who controls these behemoths of Bath’s narrow streets? 


One of Bath’s bright coloured tourist buses on its way down Milsom Street.

 Is it the local council or the Traffic Commissioners?

At every corner & junction these gargantuans of the tourist trade have to stop and wait for opposing traffic to clear so that they can swing out on tho opposite side of the road in order to make the corner. there is an irony in the in the winter months that the load factors are often so low a Smart car would be sufficient!

 For the sake of pedestrian safety maybe buses should fitted with some of these:



Maybe Bath Newseum readers would like to suggest what would be a suitable size of vehicle for Bath’s clogged arteries’?

Bob Draper, Bath.

Have you seen our Bath ‘by-pass’ ?

Have you seen our Bath ‘by-pass’ ?

As a journalist l spent a working lifetime – within ITV and the BBC – being impartial and balanced in news gathering and presentation.

I still consider myself a journalist, but l am off the fence and seeing red.

Forgive me for now turning to a subject very close to my home but l am sure it is an issue repeated elsewhere in our region.


I sent off an email, a couple of days ago, to Cllr Anthony Clark. He is the cabinet member responsible for transport with Bath and North East Somerset Council and someone who l have been exchanging correspondence concerning the road in which l live.


I happen to be at the end of a terrace of houses that line one side of a rat-run. It’s a narrow, badly-surfaced slope of a street that allows traffic to avoid the London Road and take a around-the-houses route into town – or out via the A46 to the motorway.


At the top it forms one side of a dangerous cross roads – with a sharp turn down the hill into our road. A cross-roads with parked cars  often right up to the turning – obstructing the view.


The route down hill involves a bend to the right so you cannot see what is coming up. Many drivers speed down – hoping to get far enough to make traffic coming up give way.


There is a meagre sign at the bottom end to show its not suitable for wide vehicles but nothing more.


The narrow pavement side of the road is lined with bollards – but only because a mother campaigned for them after she and her baby in a push chair had to leap into a garden to avoid a  recklessly driven car.


Our next door neighbours – who have since moved – told me of running out to see an upturned car in the road and – since we have been here – our garden wall has been knocked down and bollards at the top and bottom hit by vehicles.


I have taken many pictures over the months of huge lorries and coaches using the short cut and have included a selection.


For the last couple of years our local councillors have done their bit to try and get council action. One described his efforts as being like having to push water up a hill.


The latest ‘leak’ from B&NES indicates that there is no money left in the budget to do anything and that is after being promised that traffic calming and other safety measures would be introduced by last summer!


We need yellow lines at the top, a safe crossing point at the bottom, a decent road surface and speed bumps – top and bottom.


I leave you with the email l sent to our friend Cllr Clark.

‘Dear Cllr Clarke,

I am informed now that there is nothing left in the highways budget to do anything for the residents of …………. Road. We are not surprised. I have lived here for five years – come February – and this dangerous road has been a constant hot potato throughout that time.

However, l am informed that particular ‘spud’ has been gently ‘baking’ for something like 20 years!

If B&NES could see sense and abandon the ridiculous east of Bath park and ride they would have cash to spend on the district’s roads. Never mind little ………. – have you seen the state of Great Pulteney Street?

Here’s hoping a Metro Mayor can shift up through a million gears to get this region moving again. We live with dinosaurs.’


I have yet to receive a reply.