Liveable Neighbourhoods will “breathe new life” into residential areas, creating fairer, healthier connected communities and reducing the dominance of motor vehicles, say B&NES Lib Dems.
The ambitious proposals will help make neighbourhoods quieter and safer, tackle the climate emergency, improve air quality and enhance health and wellbeing across the area.
Liveable Neighbourhoods can be delivered in different ways, such as low traffic neighbourhoods, school streets and pedestrian safety schemes and through residents’ parking zones.
Low traffic neighbourhoods will be implemented through experimental traffic regulation orders, allowing schemes to be tested and amended before being made permanent or withdrawn.
The first phase of Liveable Neighbourhoods will see the Council and communities co-designing the first 15 schemes across Bath and North East Somerset, starting from September this year.
B&NES Cabinet members will agree the list of priority areas for the first schemes at their meeting on 23 June. At the same meeting, Cabinet will consider next steps on Active Travel Fund Schemes, which come under a different, Government-directed funding and design process.
Lib Dem Council Group Leader, Councillor Kevin Guy commented:
“The introduction of Liveable Neighbourhoods was a key manifesto commitment from the Lib Dems, and we are excited to take this next step in delivering on our promise.
“B&NES residents have demanded action on transport and the environment for years and we were elected to deliver real improvements. The Liveable Neighbourhoods policy is key to our vision for tackling the climate emergency, improving public health and creating thriving communities.”
Bath city centre Councillors Sue Craig and Andrew Furse are supporting low traffic neighbourhood applications for The Circus, Lower Lansdown, Marlborough Buildings, Royal Victoria Park and Cork Street. Kingsmead Councillor Sue Craig commented:
“The areas around The Circus, Lower Lansdown, Marlborough Buildings, Royal Victoria Park and Cork Street are densely populated and suffer from speeding, rat-running traffic and poor air quality, as well as parking issues. This damages residents’ quality of life, and also impacts local businesses and even the fabric of buildings.
“Many residents in this area, whether private housing or housing association tenants, suffer some of the worst pollution in the city, whilst being less likely to have access to a private car themselves. Improvements will benefit local people from all income brackets.
“We regularly hear from residents crying out for something to be done to make their neighbourhoods safer and healthier. We worked closely with residents associations to prepare our applications. These residents associations have worked particularly hard to involve and inform local people. They have also liaised closely with neighbouring areas on applications. This holistic view will help avoid traffic displacement.
“We look forward to working with the Council and local residents associations on the detail of the schemes. It’s helpful to know that they will be introduced on an experimental basis and can be tried out and tweaked before being made permanent or removed.”
Lib Dem Councillor Jess David worked with residents to submit an application for a safer route to school project in Moorlands, Bath. Cllr David said:
“This application was put together by local residents and with the support of the PTA at Moorlands School. The problem is vehicle numbers and speeding on the straight section of Egerton Road and Cotswold Roads. This not only affects nearby residents but makes crossing the road dangerous for families on their way to school or anyone going to Linear Park. By working with local residents, I hope we can find a solution to make the road safer for all road users and also encourage more active travel to school.”
Saltford Councillors Duncan Hounsell and Alastair Singleton are backing a scheme to cut through traffic in Queen Charlton and create a quieter, safer village. This scheme will be linked to the Whitchurch application by the councillor for Publow with Whitchurch.
Saltford ward councillor, Councillor Alastair Singleton, said “Queen Charlton is a rural village which has suffered significant “rat-running” and driving without care for resident safety or road conditions. I am delighted that B&NES Council is responding to the wishes of villagers to tackle through traffic. Any traffic regulation order requires public consultation first, but I am very hopeful that this scheme will be in place by 2022.”
Fellow ward councillor, Councillor Duncan Hounsell said “I am delighted as a ward councillor that B&NES Council is seeking to introduce this scheme which has strong community support. It is an example of putting people first. It will make Queen Charlton a safer place to get out and about.”
The Cabinet papers for 23 June have been published today and are available on the Council website. The 15 schemes in the first phase of Liveable Neighbourhoods are:
- Mount Road (Southdown)
- Great Pulteney Street/St Johns Road area (Bathwick)
- Whitchurch & Queen Charlton (Publow with Whitchurch and Saltford)
- Circus/Lower Lansdown/Marlborough Building/Royal Victoria Park/Cork Street area (Kingsmead & Lansdown)
- Oldfield Lane & First/Second/Third Avenues
- Walcot Phase 1: London Road, Snow Hill, Kensington Gardens and adjacent roads (Walcot)
- Church St & Prior Park Rd (Widcombe & Lyncombe)
- Chelsea Road (Newbridge)
- Entry Hill (Widcombe & Lyncombe)
- Southlands (Weston)
- Morris Lane/Bannerdown (Bathavon North)
- New Sydney Place (Bathwick)
- Edgerton Road/Cotswold Road (Moorlands)
- Temple Cloud
- Lyme Road/Charmouth Road (Newbridge)
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