BATH COUNCIL’S cabinet meets next week (June 23) to make – or defer – decisions on Liveable Neighbourhood schemes, Active Travel proposals, and the Xmas Market
Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) schemes, also known as Liveable Neighbourhood schemes, involve ‘re-considering’ road space to create what their advocates say will be ‘pleasant outdoor spaces where people can relax and want to spend time’. Measures including vehicle restrictions, traffic calming, residents’ parking zones, and electric vehicle charging, will be used to reduce the dominance of motor vehicles in residential areas, although people will still be able to access their homes by car.
The council has so far received 48 applications for LTNs across the district. These have been assessed and proposals that include LTNs and school streets/safe routes to school have been prioritized for provisional funding and delivery.
The council’s cabinet is recommended to approve an initial 15 schemes and provisionally allocate £2.2 million funding for their development and delivery over the next two financial years. Phase One schemes to be considered are:
• Mount Road (Southdown);
• Great Pulteney Street/St Johns Road area (Bathwick);
• Whitchurch & Queen Charlton (Publow with Whitchurch and Saltford);
• Circus/Lower Lansdown/Marlborough Building/Royal Victoria Park/Cork Street area (Kingsmead & Lansdown);
• Oldfield Lane & First/Second/Third Avenues;
• Walcot Phase 1: London Road, Snow Hill, Kensington Gardens and adjacent roads (Walcot);
• Church St & Prior Park Rd (Widcombe & Lyncombe);
• Chelsea Road (Newbridge);
• Entry Hill (Widcombe & Lyncombe);
• Southlands (Weston);
• Morris Lane/Bannerdown (Bathavon North);
• New Sydney Place (Bathwick);
• Edgerton Road/Cotswold Road (Moorlands);
• Temple Cloud; and
• Lyme Road/Charmouth Road (Newbridge)
Walking and cycling routes in Bath … Following a consultation on the council’s active travel schemes carried out between February and March this year, a report to cabinet recommends the A4 Upper Bristol Road, A36 Beckford Road, and Combe Down to University of Bath schemes proceed to the Traffic Regulation Order stage of consultation. Designs, the council says, have been ‘substantially revised’ to take into account the consultation feedback which totalled 2,380 completed questionnaires, as well as e-mails and letters. More than 90% of responses were from residents or business owners in Bath.
The city centre to university scheme is being split into parts. As there was strong support for the Beckford Road proposals, they will go on to the next stage. The proposed North Road changes are not being taken forward at the moment.
Bath’s Christmas Market … The Xmas Market is in its 20th year, having been cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is ranked in the top 10 in Europe and attracts 400,000 visitors with an estimated spend in the city of £32.5 million in 2019.
Several UK Christmas Markets have started their planning for 2021, with York and Liverpool opening applications for stall holders. Edinburgh Christmas Market has had council approval for two thirds of its plans.
A report for the council’s cabinet recommends that the Bath Market runs from November 25 to December 12, with an agreement about gateway decision dates.
These dates at key intervals in the planning will give the council time to review current COVID-19 cases, pressures on NHS services, and future modelling, to determine whether the market needs to be scaled back or cancelled in line with national guidance on Covid-19 restrictions.
The recommended dates would honour the ongoing covenant with the city that the market does not operate or cause disruption to residents in the week leading up to December 25. A residents’ evening would be held on Wednesday 24th November.
The number of stalls would be cut from 205 to 161. The proposed site would have a similar footprint to 2018/19, with the re-introduction of the areas around Bath Abbey. Mobility Helpers would be available to provide assistance to shoppers with accessibility requirements.
Councillor Dine Romero, cabinet member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture has rejected a proposal to have the market moved from the centre to the Royal Victoria Park. ‘While there have been recent suggestions to locate it in Royal Victoria Park, moving the market there or to the edges of the centre could spell economic disaster for businesses that have managed to survive till now.’