Although Walk Ride Ride is a member of the Alliance, it is clear that some of the comments in the detailed critique are very focused on removal of through traffic in the top of town and expansion of the historic core to include the Circus, but not Lansdown Crescent or Camden Crescent. The aims of the Alliance seems to be to declassify the Paragon (A4) and shift through traffic north into residential areas (Julian Road and potentially Camden Crescent). We did ask the Alliance not to make statements to that effect. For that reason Walk Ride Bath will be stepping away from the Alliance.
The JNZ is a phenomenal document showing real ambition but is clearly lacking in detail and particularly *good* visuals. The city centre “4 traffic cells” is poorly illustrated and could easily have been presented as Bath’s Living Heart (see https://walkridebath.org.uk/2022/02/02/journey-to-net-zero-a-greener-healthier-more-accessible-vision-of-bath/).
The hugely significant and ambitious circulation plan (using Liveable Neighbourhoods to enforce it) is lost on the public. A draft plan should have been present in the JNZ clearly stating how such a plan would be enforced.
Ghent as an example was taken literally by people rather than as an example of a city that has implemented a central circulation plan. No city, that I know of, has taken the decision to define a circulation plan for the *whole* city. Many are working towards that goal. It is fantastic to see Bath leading in this space.
The council should be congratulated for presenting such a transformative vision however they have left it very open to misinterpretation and they needed to much clearer in spelling out (and illustrating) the full scope and commitment.
With the only visual plan provided by the JNZ being the “4 traffic cells”, social media and local press have simply focused on that one image while the circulation plan was vague and really did not lay out clearly what is needed to achieve it or the preconditions (e.g. circulation plan implemented). They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, well a poor picture is worth 10,000 negative facebook comments. It has not been good.
I can only suggest that the council takes on board the work that Walk Ride Bath has done in this space. We consulted with 100s of people to develop the Bath Living Heart proposal (now showing the 4 traffic cells) and a draft circulation plan (both available here https://walkridebath.org.uk/2022/02/02/journey-to-net-zero-a-greener-healthier-more-accessible-vision-of-bath/ ).
However it is a shame that we need to step down from the Alliance, but we really do not want to be associated with a group that wants to declassify the A4 and move through traffic into residential areas while coaching it in terms of “historic centre” and “remove through traffic from top of town”.
Adam Reynolds – Acting Chair Walk Ride Bath
The Bath Alliance for Transport and Public Realm has welcomed B&NES Council’s ‘Journey to Net Zero’ as an important development of the 2014 Bath Transport Strategy and last year’s Bath Transport Delivery Action Plan.
In a statement it says:
It is very good that ‘Journey to Net Zero’ now includes within its scope the need for an overall traffic plan to provide a framework for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and the reduction of traffic through the city centre. The city is still heavily congested by traffic, with consequential poor air quality. These initiatives need to be supported by an overall fall in traffic volumes through the development and implementation of a comprehensive transport plan.
This must reduce traffic intrusion throughout the city by means of constraints, further action on parking, greatly improved public transport and other measures. These cannot be left as aspirations for the longer-term. Much remains to be done…
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