The Liberal Democrats are delighted with the results of a recent public consultation by B&NES Council into the proposed pedestrianisation of Kingsmead Square. In our 2019 local election manifesto, we pledged to restrict vehicular access to Bath’s historic city centre to reduce the impact of dangerous air pollution and encourage walking and cycling.
Participants in the consultation overwhelmingly supported current plans to restrict vehicle access into Kingsmead Square from 11am until midnight. Parklets, which are mini parks the size of single car parking spaces would then be installed to enhance the Square’s setting and promote “café culture”.
The square’s pedestrianisation will aid in cutting air pollution for both the hundreds of shoppers that walk through the square everyday and for customers using outdoor seating in one of the square’s many restaurants and cafes.
Councillor Sue Craig (Liberal Democrat, Kingsmead) who has long-supported the campaign said "Removing cars from Milsom Street for a weekend last year was very well supported and proved what a pleasure our streets can be when free of traffic. The project to pedestrainise Kingsmead Square has been underway for many years and it's great to see it finally coming to fruition."
The Council will now apply to the government for permission to carry out the vehicle restriction. If successful, and following Council approval, work to pedestrianise could commence as soon as this Spring.
The pedestrianisation of Kingsmead Square is part of a wider plan by the Liberal Democrats to remove traffic from Bath city centre. We have already experimented with street closures last September when Milsom Street was closed off to cars for a whole weekend. Bath shoppers enjoyed food and drink, entertainment and promotions on retail goods, promoting the array of Milsom Street’s local businesses that spilt out onto the road.
We are also implementing Bath’s Clean Air Zone this November in an effort to remove the worst polluting vehicles from the city centre.
And as for reducing air pollution in the wider city, Lib Dems are exploring the implementation of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in an attempt to reclaim residential streets for residents and clamp down on rat running.
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