Views wanted on four trial traffic restrictions on residential streets in Bath and North East Somerset

People are being asked to share their views on through-traffic restrictions in four trial locations in Bath and North East Somerset to help tackle anti-social driving and speeding in residential streets. The schemes are part of a community-led Liveable Neighbourhoods Programme.

A month-long online and in-person engagement was launched today at  to gather comments about the four pilot locations which are within the 15 areas due to be improved under the first phase of the Liveable Neighbourhoods Programme.

Liveable Neighbourhoods aim to create healthier, safer outdoor spaces for everyone to share and typically they feature fewer vehicles, better routes for walking, cycling and wheeling, and more pleasant outdoor spaces.

A range of measures are used to create a Liveable Neighbourhood, such as wider pavements, new cycle lanes, additional crossings and outdoor seating. Through-traffic restrictions are only proposed where there is a compelling reason to introduce them or where there is significant support from communities.

Through-traffic restrictions on four residential streets are being proposed ahead of the wider Liveable Neighbourhood programme because of the high levels of support already expressed by some residents for these proposals, and to quickly improve the safety and quality of life for residents living in or around these streets.

The council is now asking the wider community to confirm its support, or share views, before it considers whether to trial the restrictions in the autumn under Experimental Traffic Restriction Orders (ETROs).

The engagement period, which runs until 5pm on 30 August, is on the following streets:

  • Queen Charlton Lane, Whitchurch Village
  • Southlands, Weston
  • Church Street, Widcombe
  • Tennyson Road and Cork Street   

In all four pilot locations, solutions are being proposed to restrict through-traffic and prevent queue jumping. However, vehicle access would be maintained for residents and visitors, plus the emergency and other services.

The temporary through-traffic restriction could be a droppable bollard, a gate or a planter depending on the individual circumstances and after seeking views from agencies, including the emergency services. Vehicle turning areas would be provided, which in some cases may require a small loss of on-street parking. Pedestrians, cyclists and people with buggies, wheelchairs or driving mobility scooters would be able to pass through the restrictions unhindered.

These four locations were identified as suitable pilot interventions – ahead of wider improvements in the Liveable Neighbourhood Programme – following a previous engagement last December and again in recent community workshops where residents again expressed support for traffic restrictions in these locations to tackle anti-social driving.

We want to check residents’ views before we trial the restriction on each street under an Experimental Traffic Order Regulation (ETRO). The order would allow people to formally comment on the restriction as they experience it over 12 months before making a final commitment on whether they would like to see it permanently installed.

Along with physical interventions, we are working with residents – especially where issues have been identified – to reduce their reliance on cars where they can, especially for short trips that could be walked or wheeled. This is to help reduce congestion on all roads, improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions. Reducing car use also offers personal health, wellbeing and financial benefits. Developing Liveable Neighbourhoods is not all about introducing physical interventions and will rely in part on everyone finding healthier and more sustainable ways to do short journeys.

Councillor Sarah Warren, deputy leader and cabinet member for Climate and Sustainable Travel

In-person events are planned for each pilot area the details of which are also available online or via Council Connect and local libraries. Letters will also be sent to residents living in or near the roads where the restrictions are proposed.

The meetings are:

Church Street: 16 August at Widcombe Baptist Church, Pulteney Road (South), BA2 4JR between 4pm and 8pm.

Queen Charlton Lane: 17 August at Queen Charlton Village Hall between 4pm and 8pm.

Southlands: 18 August at Weston Free Church, High Street, Weston, BA1 4DJ, between 4pm and 8pm.

Tennyson Road and Cork Street: TBC please check online. 

Between last November and January, more than 1,600 people responded to a series of questions about Liveable Neighbourhoods with 51% supporting Liveable Neighbourhoods schemes, 36% expressing neutral views, and 13% against their implementation.

The engagement found many areas expressing a wish for changes to improve pedestrian safety, more traffic calming measures, and improved cycling infrastructure. Additionally, a desire for general improvement of the public realm was expressed.

Several concerns were also raised.  These included the potential impact of vehicle access restrictions, which some residents were concerned might simply move an existing problem from one area to another. Monitoring would therefore be undertaken, both prior to the modal filter being installed and during the trial.

The council has set out its Journey to Net Zero ambitions, to shift the way people get around, reduce emissions, improve air quality, improve public health, tackle congestion and reduce the impact of travel on the climate and the Liveable Neighbourhoods Programme plays a part in achieving this.

As part of the Liveable Neighbourhoods Programme, ward members also brought forward proposals for seven residents parking zones which have been consulted on and reports are now being prepared.

Press release by Bath & North East Somerset Council.