Among technical issues that the planning and design team for the new stadium at the Rec have addressed in recent months is the possible impact of the development on the city’s traffic and transport systems. It seems that the main effect of the additional 4,300 supporters likely to converge on the stadium on busy match days will not be felt in the form of increased traffic congestion on city centre streets, as many might expect, but in a marked increase in pedestrian traffic in areas around the stadium.
This is because travel to and from the stadium by supporters is, and will remain, heavily biased in favour of public transport: trains, buses and park and ride. But all supporters will end and begin their journeys as pedestrians and city centre streets, already crowded to bursting point on some match days, will come under increased pressure. This may be a problem for the city and for visiting supporters.
Unfortunately, links to the stadium for pedestrians are poor, relying too heavily on flights of narrow, twisting stone steps leading to the river bank stadium entrances from Argyle Street and North Parade. It is for this reason that TARA will encourage the council and Bath Rugby to work together on planning a new pedestrian bridge across the river linking the stadium with the commercial heart of the city to which many supporters are drawn during their stay
A new footbridge will benefit visitors, residents and businesses as well as rugby supporters and will greatly enhance our city centre.