Residents are being asked for their views on Bath & North East Somerset Council’s ambitious proposals for liveable neighbourhoods which will improve air quality and health, encourage more walking and cycling and reduce vehicles in residential areas.
Liveable neighbourhoods are an important part of the council’s plan to tackle the climate and ecological emergency and to improve health and wellbeing across the area.
It has developed three strategies which it now wants people’s views on. The three strategies would form the basis for liveable neighbourhoods. They are:
- Low traffic neighbourhood strategy
- Residents’ parking schemes strategy
- On-street electric vehicle charging strategy
Residents are now being asked what they think about the plans in an online consultation that will run until Wednesday 14 October.
Liveable neighbourhoods aim to reduce the dominance of vehicles in residential areas – particularly through-traffic – while maintaining vehicle access to homes and businesses and prioritising residential parking. This can be done through a range of measures including vehicle restrictions, traffic calming and one-way streets.
Liveable neighbourhoods usually group residential streets together across a 1km2 area around key amenities, such as schools, shops and surgeries, and bordered by a main road. To reduce through traffic and rat-running, a range of vehicle restrictions can be used. This ranges from modal filters such as bollards and attractive planters to one-way streets, traffic calming, speed restrictions and also residents parking schemes to reduce commuter parking.
Residents will have already seen changes to some city and town centre roads. Access restrictions and barriers were installed to encourage social distancing to deal with the immediate impact of Covid-19.
They were funded from the Government’s £250 million Emergency Active Travel Fund which was announced in May. Councils were then encouraged to bid for a second ‘tranche’ of government funding to promote more walking and cycling and ease pressure on public transport.
In Bath & North East Somerset ten schemes have been identified for this potential funding. Given the timescales for preparing bids, they have not yet been subject to consultation and could be introduced as Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders.
There will be opportunities for communities to request individual liveable neighbourhoods once all three strategies are finalised and the project is launched.
Residents can read a summary of the council’s plans for liveable neighbourhoods and take part in an online survey before Wednesday 14 October at www.bathnes.gov.uk/liveableneighbourhoods.
Those with no internet access can request paper copies of the summary and survey by calling council connect on 01225 39 40 41. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be no public events in this instance.