A new video explaining access arrangements on some restricted streets in Bath has been launched following input with disability groups and individuals with lived experience.
Bath and North East Somerset Council has introduced anti-terrorism security measures, which restrict vehicles in some city centre streets, in order to help protect the public.
In addition to guidance already on the council’s website, the new video explains access arrangements for Blue Badge holders.
Along with the film the council has produced an online map that shows the city centre restrictions but also additional, disabled, resident and loading bay parking facilities outside of the restricted area along with public seating so that people can plan and visit with confidence.
Work on the proportionate, preventative measures to protect public safety, are based on police advice, following extensive consultations, talks with businesses, residents and accessibility groups.
Currently the restrictions are managed with barriers and marshals under Anti-Terrorism Traffic Regulation Orders for:
- Lower Borough Walls, Stall Street, Abbeygate Street, Abbey Green, Swallow Street (south), Bath Street, Beau Street, and Hot Bath Street;
- Cheap Street, Westgate Street (including Parsonage Lane), Saw Close and Upper Borough Walls.
A tender for contractors to undertake the £1.5million scheme to install static and sliding bollards has gone out with the anticipation that work could start in June this year.
The tender includes work on York Street, which is the subject of a Public Inquiry. York Street had to be included in the tender because the council could not wait for the outcome of the inquiry and incur increased costs on a separate tender if the outcome upholds the ATTRO for York Street.
The council triggered the public inquiry for York Street after a member of the public upheld their objections to the proposed traffic regulation orders for anti-terrorism purposes in York Street. The Public Inquiry is set for April 26 in the Guildhall, Bath.
The security proposals include vehicle access restrictions on streets defined as crowded places in and around Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths while maintaining managed access to the city centre for residents, businesses and blue badge holders.
They were initially based on a counter-terrorism security survey on Bath city centre in September 2016 which identified the areas as being vulnerable to a potential hostile vehicle attack.
In February 2020 Avon & Somerset Police Chief Constable asked Bath & North East Somerset Council to consider an ATTRO covering the wider city centre of Bath which would be used in the event of a heightened threat, specific intelligence, as a result of an incident or if there are events taking place that create crowded places.
Following consultation with Counter Terrorism security advisors and the council, which centred around the crowded places indicated within the National Counter Terrorism Security Office report, it was considered proportionate to introduce permanent restrictions covering a smaller area in the city centre resulting in the current measures, which the Chief Constable supported.
The council has continued to work alongside the Counter Terrorism advisors to protect these areas, through both physical measures and training for front line staff, both from public and private sector.