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Sunday, 24 January 2010

Urban Gulls

Residents living in the city centre regularly raise their concerns about the gull problem and the costs and nuisance they incur:

• They defecate on buildings, cars and people.

• Faeces on the ground are very slippery, particularly in wet weather.

• The birds become active very early in the morning in the summer months, and residents are commonly woken in the early hours of the morning by screaming of gulls.

• Clearing up after these birds and, the often ineffectual, schemes to deter them cost a large amount of money

Bath’s economy is dependent on the spending of some 5 million visitors per annum. Feedback from tourists often refers to the nuisance from seagulls.

The number of breeding pairs is measured to be rising inexorably .At best counter measures are slowing this growth; at worse they are simply changing the way gull colonies are distributed.

Tara is supporting Bristol University’s application for funding to undertake much needed research into the behaviour of urban gulls

The Bristol University research proposal offers a real hope of gathering the information needed to target future gull prevention work more effectively.

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Comments on the proposed closure of Pulteney Bridge to traffic.

TARA is supportive of the Council's Public Realm and Movement Strategy and is in favour of careful management of how and when vehicles access the centre of Bath.

Pulteney Bridge and Pulteney Street are key heritage assets and they need protection against the impact of traffic both visual and physical. We also have long had concerns about pedestrian safety.

However, the closure of Pulteney Bridge would inevitably displace traffic to other areas and increase congestion and pollution in these areas. We would welcome further discussions with BANES about what their studies indicate about where the displaced traffic is likely to go and what plans they have for mitigating the impact on these areas.

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Sunday, 10 January 2010

TARA response to consultation on public toilet provision - key points

There has been an over-emphasis on the provision of public toilets in public parks at the expense of the commercial and heritage core of the city.

Better facilities are needed close to the main north-south commercial axis of the city centre (Milsom/ Stall Streets) and the main cross-routes (Westgate/Cheap Streets/ Upper Borough Walls)

Bath has a compact city centre with a relatively high number of residents and a high visitor density therefore a 200m access standard is preferred

At night the patterns of demand for toilet facilities in the city centre change. Large numbers of mainly young people are on the streets moving between pubs, bars, clubs and fast food outlets. It may be that temporary toilet facilities are most appropriate for the night time economy and we believe the facility at Orange Grove need to be retained and extended to three other areas: South Parade (taxi rank) Kingsmead/Sawclose and George Street.

The Partnership/Community Toilet Scheme is a promising idea but private sector partners will need to be far more welcoming to the public by providing accessible and well signed locations.

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Saturday, 9 January 2010

City Centre Pollution

Nitrogen dioxide levels along most of the main roads in Bath city centre are 50% above the Government limit of 40 micrograms/cubic metre, at which pollution is considered to be a potential health risk.

Most of the pollution in Bath city centre is caused by traffic and TARA is pressing for more to be done to control traffic in Bath and to monitor the health impact on local residents.

The Bath Transport Package and the ideas floated in the recent consultation on measure to address pollution are useful and important contributions.

However we are continuing to press for more for more urgent action to:

• Restrict traffic and especially through traffic.

• Reduce the number of Heavy Goods Vehicles.

• Improve public transport

• Undertake studies on the impact of pollution on the health of city centre residents

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