Updated proposals to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks in Bath city centre have been described as ‘proportionate’ by B&NES Cabinet members, who signed the scheme off this evening.
Vehicle access will be restricted in key city centre streets between 10 am and 6 pm, with access and parking being maintained for Blue Badge holders in Cheap Street, Westgate Street, Saw Close and Upper Borough Walls.
Following the Cabinet meeting, members of the public will have another chance to have their say by commenting on the Traffic Regulation Orders when they are published.
Councillor Manda Rigby, Cabinet member for Transport, said:
“These updated proposals represent a proportionate balance between protecting those who live, work and visit our city, whilst ensuring access for disabled people, city centre residents and businesses as well.
“This is not the original proposed 24/7 closure. On the risk continuum, looking at the latest figures for footfall, this seems to be the right response. We have worked closely with the Police and they have approved this approach.
“A consultation went out at the start of the year, and the new scheme is as a result of listening to the results of that consultation as well as a specialist accessibility report we commissioned.
“Further work will now go ahead on Traffic Regulation Orders and we will work with Councillors and stakeholders on an operational plan to ensure the most workable procedures, whilst not allowing unfettered access by unknown vehicles, which would compromise security.
“Our top priority is to protect people in the city centre. I am confident that we are in the sweet spot on the continuum between closing the city to all at all times, which would be the most secure option, and having no precautions at all, which would give the most accessibility.”
B&NES Member Advocate for Accessibility, Councillor Sarah Moore, commented:
“I’m very pleased that this proportionate approach has been taken. A consultation was held, and the Cabinet has listened to the responses from the public as well as considering the results of the independent Accessibility Study. The proposals have been adjusted, based on this feedback, to ensure that Blue Badge holders will have access to the centre of our city.
“I also welcome the provision of additional improvements to assist disabled people more widely, including additional Blue Badge parking bays, accessible parklets for extra seating, dropped kerbs and footway surface improvements.”