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Thursday, 29 July 2010

Banes Street Trading Policy


We would like to see an explicit reference to proximity to residential properties and residential amenity in the criteria for pitch selection.

We would like to see reference to consulting the residents’ associations about applications as there are no parish councils to consult in the city centre

We think it would be helpful to all concerned if the council published more explicit guidelines regarding the appearance of stalls as a baseline for good practice.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

TARA’s Comments on the proposed BANES Cultural Strategy

In general we are concerned that this document does not discuss measures of effectiveness in any detail. It does not set measurable goals.

The document does not address how in practice the relationship between this and other key planning and control processes such as planning and licensing will be managed.

We are unclear why a focus upon the North East Somerset communities outside of Bath is a central aspect of the work of Tourism Leisure and Culture division.

The document cites “evidence” and “studies” but gives no references.

Where the document talks about rural and urban divides in cultural provision it seems to us simplistic and muddled; people choose urban and rural location to live and each has built in advantages and disadvantages. City centre residents have ready access to more cultural offers but also have to tolerate close proximity to noise and anti-social behaviour.

The document concatenates cost and access to public transport and rural and urban living. Cost is an issue that transcends the urban/rural split there are many people living in Bath who find cost a barrier to attending cultural events. The public transport issue is more likely to be addressed by providing better more affordable public transport to take people to Bath than using council resources to scatter cultural events across BANES.

The document addresses how to make culture available to disadvantaged people but rather than discussing how to give disadvantaged people better access to culture falls back on taking about taking cultural events to areas where they live thus immediately closing off other options.

The public sector has a fairly poor track record in forecasting social trends and market mechanisms are much better at addressing this. For instance this document forecasts that Box Offices will fall out of use however the selection of ticket purchasing channels is, if history is any guide, likely be much more complex and diverse that this section “forecasts”. The market will decide the fate of Box Offices and there seems little to be gained by BANES attempting to second guess the outcome.

The strategy talks about considering and planning for how public transport might impact on start and end timings of cultural events. We think there ought, in addition, to be more consideration about how public transport availability should be changed to reflect the needs of people attending cultural events.

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Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Cyclists on Pavements

There is no doubt that cycling in pedestrian areas is a cause of annoyance to residents in the city centre. It is a particular concern when cyclists show a reckless disregard for the safety and opinions of pedestrians and are abusive when their offence is pointed out.

However in considering what should be done we need to recognise that pavement cycling is only one of a range of low grade antisocial behaviours that impact people in the city centre when allowed to escalate..

Inconsiderate cyclists sit alongside:

• inconsiderate smokers and gum chewers
• people who throw food wrappers and dinks containers
• people who urinate and vomit on pavements and in doorways
• fly tippers
• drunks shouting and fighting
• beggars
• people ringing doorbells in the early hours of the morning
• people who park on pavements

Tackling these issues is not straightforward; while the police have an important role to play the nature of these offences means that police alone cannot do the job. Indeed enforcement alone cannot do the job. There is a need for more effective:

• education about the harm caused and the legal penalties
• police monitoring of the levels of offending - these offences are under reported
• action by the police when they do observe offences
• coordination by enforcement agencies
• utilisation of council officials on the street
• engagement of residents as has been done over pavement parking
• vision, strategy and structures for managing the city centre

Friday, 16 July 2010

A-boards


BANES say they are developing a new policy on A-board advertising. In our view it cannot come too soon.

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Thursday, 15 July 2010

Cracked pavements

Walking around Bath one is struck by the number of cracked paving and kerb stones.

Much of this damage is due to people parking on pavements. As residents we suffer:

• from the unsightly and dangerous condition of the pavements

• the cost of the local authority repairs

• the loss of utility services because extensive vaulting in Bath means many are buried very shallowly

We welcomed and are active participants in the police scheme to provide residents with warning notices to put on cars as driver education is key to addressing the problem.

However, enforcement is also vital if this problem is to be addresses properly.

We would like to see the remit of the parking enforcement officers extended so that they routinely handed out warnings and penalties to drivers committing this offence.

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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

PROPOSED CHANGES TO PARKING AND RELATED FEES AND CHARGES 2010/11

Going Forward

• We support in principle proposed increase in the number and working hours of the Parking Enforcement Officers
• We are concerned about the likely impact of a refurbished Manvers Street Car Park on traffic flows
• We would welcome in principle the extension of Park and Ride to Sundays but in general we would like to see more discussion of how the charging strategy links into the wider transport strategy and in particular the provision of public transport

Park and Ride Charges

• We would like to discuss with BANES what their models indicate about the impact of fee increases on traffic coming into the city

Off Street Parking in Bath

• We support the principal of keeping on street parking more expensive than of street parking and off street parking more expensive than park and ride

Resident’s Parking Permits

• We understand the need for the charge to cover costs in the current financial climate and welcome the proposals to increase enforcement. We would however like to see this fee increase accompanied by proposals to increase the availability of parking spaces for residents in the central zone

On Street Parking Charges in Bath

• We would like to see these charges applied on Sunday as there is little practical difference in the use of cars in the city centre between Saturdays and Sundays

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Sunday, 4 July 2010

Consultation on the Closure of Pulteney Bridge

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 were hoping for a meaningful consultation on this where BANES shared what their studies indicated about where the displaced traffic is likely to go and what plans they have for mitigating the impact on these areas.

Unfortunately such a discussion was not held and therefore there seems little value in the consultation process.

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