In Bath, we rust.

In Bath, we rust.

There’s a good chance those rust-covered and expensive planters may stay on the London Road after all.

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The irony of moving the container when it clearly bears a message referring to the London Road – supreme gateway to Bath – is not lost on me.

Took B&NES a couple of years to take action on a safety audit that had suggested the trees planted in some of them obscured the vision of motorists pulling out from side roads.

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Will the planters now be allowed to stay?

So – suddenly – the trees are ripped out or sawn off – and the artist-produced containers – that were designed to rust and which bear poetic quotes – seems destined for scrapping or replacing some of those unattractive (but necessary) concrete blocks in the city centre.

However, l hear there has been a softening of attitudes in that – as long as the safety issue is addressed – the planters can stay where they are or be moved slightly to new sites on the London Road where there is no obstruction to worry about.

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Crouching down to car driver level. I can still see what’s coming.

Have to say l crouched down to car driver level to take some pictures this morning and – as long as they are re-dressed with low growing plants – l cannot see any problem.

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The traffic lights into Queen Square from Old King Street. The one nearest the pavement has had new wiring added – it seems – to make way for CCTV.

Elsewhere in town today – l am told they have been wiring up a set of traffic lights on the corner of Queen Square and Old King Street for a CCTV camera. Not sure if that’s to monitor motor traffic or human  – but it’s a good idea.

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Is this the new wiring for the CCTV camera.

We need another one in Laura Place to deter the constant addition of liquid soup to the fountain. It’s so boring and not good for the fountain’s pump.

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They’ve just put in a new one. Why or why can’t the people who live around there take an interest too. Is it really all hotels and offices in that area?

 

Toll house repairs begin this week.

Toll house repairs begin this week.

Monday, April 23rd. St George’s Day, Shakespeare’s birthday is also the day work will finally begin to repair Bath’s historic Cleveland Bridge Toll House which was damaged in an incident last year.

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The damaged toll house.

The specialist repair works are expected to last two weeks, with two-way temporary traffic signals operating 24/7.

Signals will be manually operated from 7am to 8pm weekdays and from 8am to 7pm over the weekend, in order to be as reactive to traffic conditions as possible and minimise delays.

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Prepare for hold-ups .

The work had to be rescheduled from March due to severe cold weather affecting specialist building materials. Historic England – which is overseeing the works – advised that the lime mortar would not set properly due to the temperatures being below five degrees centigrade.

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The last repair job to do at this busy junction,

Councillor Mark Shelford (Conservative, Lyncombe) Cabinet member for Transport and Environment, said: “These are essential works and unfortunately there will be delays but we ask drivers to be patient with us while the work is carried out. Extended working hours will be in operation in order that the works can be completed as quickly as possible and to minimise disruption.”

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Prepare for hold-ups .

The council has co-ordinated a series of roadworks in the London Road areas over recent weeks to minimise disruption. The main resurfacing works on London Road have been completed. The new loading bay works on London Road should be completed by the end of this week; with only yellow boxes and line markings left to do – this will involve only a partial closure of the A4 London Road West of the main traffic signals.  The A36 and East of the traffic signals will remain open under two way traffic control; these overnight works will start at 8pm and be completed before 6am.

Gas works have also been completed to avoid further disruption again later in the year.

The council’s Variable Message Signs located across various routes into Bath will display the latest information to drivers.

Bath Preservation Trust support for Clean Air Zone.

Bath Preservation Trust support for Clean Air Zone.

Bath Preservation Trust  has come out in support of the proposal by B&NES to introduce a Clean Air Zone in Bath (CAZ) – particularly because its boundaries take into account the through traffic crossing Cleveland Bridge and exiting the City along the London Road. 

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In a press statement – released today, Tuesday. April 10th – BPT say:

‘We support the highest category of restriction (category D) in order to encourage behavioural change for car users as well as commercial vehicles.

Bath traffic results in three problems which can damage the listed buildings and harm the amenity of the World Heritage Site: pollution, congestion and vibrations. The CAZ is primarily aimed at the former (pollution) though it is to be hoped that it will also change behaviours of both longer distance drivers and local users.

While the CAZ is therefore by no means a total solution to the traffic problems of Bath, we hope that this will provide a first step towards providing a number of ‘carrot and stick’ methods to changing behaviours regarding vehicle movements in the City.

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London Road traffic.

We have two specific requests to make. The first is that any ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) installations used to run the charging system collect data as long as possible BEFORE the imposition of the charges so that there are definitive ‘Before and After’ datasets which will allow the effectiveness to be measured; and that secondly the income form the CAZ is at least in part hypothecated to incentivising other forms of non-polluting transport such as clean delivery methods, clean buses, strengthened public transport, and increased prioritisation of cycling and walking infrastructure.’

Plant an idea?

Plant an idea?

Suggestions are starting to come in regarding finding a use for some of the metal planters lining the city end of the London Road.  They were introduced – at great expense –  a few years ago as part of a regeneration scheme to green this ‘gateway’ to Bath.

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A row of treeless planters.

Seems they are being taken away because they block visibility for drivers coming out of side roads. Something that was pointed out to B&NES in an independent safety audit carried out three years ago!

While the Council has asked its officers to come up with some clever ideas to re-cycle these £5,000 a piece, artistically-produced, self-rusting, generous plant pots – one Bath Newseum follower thought some of them might make edible troughs. Plant them up with vegetables!

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The ‘unofficial’ Walcot garden.

Maybe they could be given to the Walcot Road volunteers who turned a bit of wasteland alongside the sadly derelict Corn Market into a garden.

While we’re talking about blocked sight-lines. Troughs are nothing compared to the dangers we face in our road. At the top is a busy crossroads blocked by cars being allowed to park right up to the corner.

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The blind corner we have to face at​ the top end of our street. Often cars are parked right up to the edge. We are still waiting for B&NES to do something. We are a popular last-minute​-Chelsea-tractor-rush-to-school rat run. The Gloucester Road above us is a ha ha ha 20mph road.

Any further suggestions for the planters are very welcome.

 

Cleaner air for Camden!

Cleaner air for Camden!

Camden Residents Association have got themselves a blog to join the fight against air pollution in Bath and fight for something to be done to save their area from increased traffic and poor air quality.

l have been to have a look and copy below a relevant part of their on-line campaign:

“Air quality in Bath is illegally poor and has to improve.  We believe Camden is more afflicted than is realised, and so demands special attention from the Council.image003

The extent of the traffic problem has been highlighted in the recently published report ‘Tackling Traffic Congestion and Poor Air Quality in NE Bath’ by the Camden Residents’ Association (CRA).image001

At peak times, Camden Road is over 50% as busy as the main arterial A4, the London Road, and yet it is a narrow, single track, residential street.  The full 1.5 mile rat run through both Larkhall and Camden draws in traffic not only from the East and North but also the South of the city.  This traffic passes three schools, uses constricted residential streets and threatens residents and the many commuting pedestrians with illegally poor air quality.  At non-peak times air quality recovers slightly, but most drivers exceed the 20 mph speed limit creating other safety issues.

Whilst accepting that poor air quality is a pressing Bath-wide issue the CRA delivered its report at a B&NES Cabinet meeting on 7th February and requested that the Council consider the area of NE Bath particularly carefully.image004

The evidence-based report is available to read or download on the association’s website www.camdenresidentsbath.co.uk and the shorter cabinet submission is available on their blog at https://camdenresidentsassociationblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/24/our-report-goes-to-cabinet-on-7th-february/

You can also subscribe to our blog, write a comment and offer support below.  We really look forward to hearing from you.

Get on with it!

Get on with it!

What is it with repair jobs in Bath? Months ago one of the toll houses on the Cleveland Bridge was rudely bashed by ‘hit and run’ merchants.

 

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Cleveland Bridge

 

It cannot be much fun living in somewhere covered in roof-supporting-scaffolding and canvas, but it has also been a nightmare for pedestrians trying to cross the busy road or try and walk alongside it.

 

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There’s a temporary central island at this point.

 

The Council has put in some temporary pedestrian-friendly arrangement – a temporary central island – to lessen the danger but for how long will this state of affairs have to continue.

 

We know there’s insurance to sort out and English Heritage to consult but this should be ‘fast-tracked’ as a matter of urgency and is most certainly an ever-present blot on the landscape.

 

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A wall waiting to be repaired

 

We have a smaller example of plodding officialdom in our street. A portion of wall has collapsed – surrounding a field to one side of our terrace. How long can it take to look up the owner in the Land Registry and get repairs moving?

Our narrow little rat run of a street is dangerous enough without this added obstacle.

Meanwhile, while we’re talking about Cleveland Bridge, Tony Howell writes:

“It’s not only the buildings. The centre of the road here (see photo below) has a DEEP groove in it. In this picture, you can just see the beginning of it.
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It runs longitudinally, it’s deep, and I frequently am almost thrown off my scooter. At night, for cyclists and m/cyclists it is a potential death trap.
One doesn’t wish to whinge, although one does, oft times, but there is no question that Bath is decaying before our eyes.
“Private Wealth, public squalor”.

 

Let’s talk Bath transport!

Let’s talk Bath transport!

Bath’s MP Wera Hobhouse will be in Larkhall in March – attending an open meeting where you can have your say about transport in Bath.

It’s being organised by Transition Larkhall on March 3rd at the New Oriel Hall, in Larkhall,  from 9.30 am to 2pm.
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Joanna Wright tells Bath Newseum that the meeting is all about “thinking differently about travel in and around Bath. We want peoples’ ideas about transport in Bath.

Wera Hobhouse MP – and other political and campaign groups – will be present to
join the discussion about the future of travel in and around the city.

A professional facilitator will lead the discussion, focused on the idea of
thinking differently about travel in and around Bath.
We’ll be asking who is moving around and why are they moving that way. How do you travel, and how would you like to travel, around Bath? Let’s help create a transport vision for Bath.”

The event is free and open to all members of the public.  ‘Booking is
essential , says Joanna, as numbers of places are limited. Please RSVP* if you would like
to attend.’

Please send your details to Joanna Wright at
jojowright@postmaster.co.uk or to transitionlarkhall@gmail.com

*ALL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY YOUNG AND OLD WELCOME*