Friday, 28 July 2017

The hotel development on South Parade

The beleaguered residents who are neighbours of the hotel development on South Parade have revived a suggestion they made a year ago that they should be allowed free Parking Spaces in the Manvers Street car park. To compensate for the loss of on street parking.

When they first raised it BANES rejected the idea. But they have now suffered another year of misery and disruption so feel their position should be reconsidered particularly as they have learned from the contractor’s staff that BANEs are being compensated for their loss of revenue.

This development continues to be a mess that reflects badly on BANES and highlights what we have been calling for some time, the need for a proper review of how BANES approves and monitors major construction projects in the city centre.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

20 mph schemes in Bath £871,000 well spent?

Since 2011 BANES has spent £ 871,000 introducing 20 mph speed zones in Bath and wider BANES. There was no enforcement process built into any of these schemes, indeed the police complained at the time that they had not been consulted, and we expressed some doubts as whether without enforcement these zone would have any real effect.

Well the results are now available in a report to be considered on the 17th July by the Communities, Transport and Environment Policy Development Committee;

The study has found that,

a) Broadly speaking, speed reduction in line with national trends has been achieved, but in real terms the overall reduction in average speed is very small (1.3 mph) and thus is not persuasive in terms of the money spent on these schemes.

b) Some accident reduction has been observed in Bath, but accident increase, albeit slight, has been seen in outlying towns. Again, this mixed outcome seems to be reflected across the country.

c) Casualty severity has worsened marginally in Bath and more so in outlying towns. Again, this is reflective of the national situation for reasons which are not yet clear. A number of the schemes have not yet been in place for 3 years and thus the casualty picture might alter over the remaining months.

d) Overall, the speed limit programme in B&NES seems to have provided little in the way of persuasive argument for continuing the programme into the future.

e) Indeed, the rise in casualty numbers and severity as per the national trend (albeit with relatively small numbers in B&NES) would suggest against further expansion of area based schemes.

It seems our cynicism about likely value of these schemes was justified.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

BANES U-Turn on Transport Plan

So yet another expensively created transport strategy for Bath is abandoned having been used as a political football by all our elected representatives for two years.

Two years on and millions of pounds later we are back to square one with another vague, largely unfunded strategy which will become a political football again  in two years time at the council elections.

Meanwhile, the health of thousands of city centre residents, not to mention workers and visitors, continues to be damaged.

It is also clear that by appearing to give in to the bullying tactics of minority, as shown in repeated surveys of public opinion, politicians of all stripes  have made a rod for there own backs. Any minority group will now think they can protect their narrow interests by bludgeoning the council in the same way.