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Monday, 29 May 2017

A Letter to the Leader of the Council


Dear Tim,



It seems to have become fashionable to send you letters critiquing the performance of the council. We have joined this trend because we think it is important that you get a wider and more represented set of views than those expressed by the rather narrow range of special interest groups who have written so far.



Looking at the correspondence that you have received we were surprised to see that their principal criticism seems to be you and your colleagues lack of willingness to meet and discuss issues with residents. We were surprised at this both because our experience has been entirely different and because we have seen and heard many of these groups at a number of discussion forums organised by BANES and attended by yourself and members of your cabinet.



On the substantive issues raised by groups like Bath Deserves Better:



As you know we strongly support the development of an eastern park and ride. We are primarily concerned with the real and serious health threat to city residents created by pollution. A key part of any pollution reduction strategy is implementing the Bath Transport Strategy. This strategy has taken many years to create, cost considerable amounts of money and been developed in conjunction with some of the county leading experts and has always included an eastern park and ride. While it was entirely appropriate to hold a detailed discussion on the choice of site the time has come to stop talking and put peoples' health first.



We are delighted that at a time when many councils are withdrawing from the provision of professionally managed libraries BANES are investing in the city centre library service and in particular its increasingly important and popular IT facilities. We are particularly pleased to see that you are merging the management of the two important historic archives and upgrading the facilities for accessing them. We understand that people have an emotional attachment to the old premises and that some user groups might have specific concerns which need to be addressed and look forward to participating in further discussions about how various needs can be and perhaps should be met.


As you are aware we are keen to speed up progress on a number of issues affecting city centre residents and in particular:



           Improving the quality of formal consultations

           Creating a more consistently customer focussed organisation

           Removing unauthorised trade waste dumps

           An improved dialogue with Universities about their impact on the city

           Stalled traffic management projects

           Reviving the vital but moribund Public realm and Movement Strategy

           More effective measurement of the most dangerous components of city pollution

           Short term pollution reduction strategies

           Addressing the challenge of rough sleeping and begging

           Improving policing and enforcement

           The problems created by various forms of short term letting

           The better management of building projects in the city centre



We look forward to a continuing constructive dialogue with you and your colleagues about how this can be achieved.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

BATH RUGBY  STAGE 2 CONSULTATION


Notes on transport and access proposals

Positives

·        Bath is a regional transportation hub.  Would be impossible to locate a stadium in the city centre if this were not the case

·        Nearly half of fans travel by public transport (47%, about 30% by train) or by P and R.

·        No dedicated parking provided at the stadium

·        Almost all fans reach the stadium itself on foot

Negatives

·        Nearly 40% (36.2%) of fans arrive as car drivers or passengers.  Need to get this number down.  This is about reducing both congestion and air quality

·        Cars circulate in search of parking adding to harmful emissions

·        Illegal parking rife in residential streets around the stadium and there is a lack of policing and enforcement

·        Serious pedestrian congestion in streets around the stadium.  Pedestrian links to city centre inadequate.  About a third of supporters spend about four hours in the city centre in addition to match time

Solutions

·        Encourage greater use of public transport and P and R. 

·        Incentives: discounted tickets, beer vouchers, etc

·        Batheaston P and R essential to provide additional capacity

·        Following line upgrades new trains could enhance capacity

·        Incentives to increase use of buses.  No current changes to match day timetables

·        Improve pedestrian access to the stadium.  New foot/cycle bridge across the river linking stadium and sports centre to the city centre.

·        Extra parking enforcement on match days, tow trucks, enhanced penalties, etc.

·        Ban on coaches leaving engines running

·        More bike racks

Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Saw Close Development and Disabled Parking Provision

In our submission to the council following the application for planning consent for the Saw Close casino and hotel (13/04234/EFUL) we supported the removal of short stay parking spaces from the site as well as the absence of new parking in the proposals.  However, we asked that more thought be given to parking for Blue Badge holders.  It is normally a sound principle in any city centre development that where there is a proposal to exclude most traffic from an area in favour of pedestrians and cyclists parking for the disabled, who may be unable to take full advantage of the improvements, should be increased or at least maintained rather than reduced.  With the removal, without replacement, of the three existing spaces for Blue Badge holders on the site the nearest available short stay parking will be adjacent to Kingsmead Square, a distance of some 200 metres, and this parking resource is likely to come under increased pressure.  



We are disappointed that the council ignored our previous comments and request, in the strongest possible terms, that the number of parking spaces available to Blue Badge holders on the site should be maintained or increased rather than reduced