Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sydney Gardens Traffic Scheme

There was a productive site meeting with residents at the Sydney Gardens crossing. Among many issues and problems highlighted were, traffic travelling much faster through parts of the system, pedestrians mixing with traffic stood still on crossings and general confusion of when to stop or go.

Those in charge of transport and have been asked to revisit the scheme, with a view to making improvements. The view of the Conservative Executive Member for Transportation and Highways was that it is the fault of the drivers that this scheme does not work well, not the fault of the road layout itself. We await improvements. Meanwhile Cllr David Dixon has spoken to the Police to ask if in the meantime they would observe and advise motorists as to the purpose of hatched boxes, to ensure pedestrian safety.

Funding for Riverside Centre

Two bids for funding were made to the Safer Communities Initiative and both have been awarded. These are both related to the Riverside Youth and Community Centre, behind the Porter Butt on the London Road.

The awards are for the funding of a net for the basketball court to stop the ball going over into Weymouth Street, which means that young people using this facility will no longer have to leave the centre to get their ball back and residents no longer have to worry about damage to their cars, or intruders into their gardens.

The other award is to fund lighting along the dark access road to the centre, which has been an issue for many years and in the past has put off people using the centre in the evenings.

Tennis Courts at Sydney Gardens

After a local resident advised Cllr David Dixon, he has asked that Aquaterra replace the broken net on the tennis court in Sydney Gardens. Cllr David Dixon said, “It is very important that if these facilities are provided that they are kept in good working order. I do hope that Aquaterra replace these nets very soon so that our residents can make best use of this facility”.

Lighting for London Road

Most of the new street lights along the London Road are now in place. Cllr Colin Darracott said, “I know that residents will like the new street lighting, as it should improve the quality of lighting along the London Road and I feel that the design of the lights are in keeping with the area. It is important that we work hard to improve the London Road, after all it is the gateway to a World Heritage City.”

Lambridge Park and Ride

You may have already heard that the flood compensation works at Mill Lane were turn down by the Council’s Development Control Committee. This means that the Park and Ride at Lambridge can not go ahead. The Park and Ride at Lambridge would be a waste of valuable resources as it is simply too close to the City Centre, too small and would probably be full by 10am. It was noted that the traffic on the London Road would not decrease, but that any spare capacity would have been taken up by suppressed demand.

Cllr David Dixon said, “No one denies that there is not a need for a Park and Ride to the East of Bath, however £6.5million for a scheme which would do nothing to improve the London Road Area, to me does not represent value for money. Once the Car Park is full there will be serious overspill of parking into surrounding streets, would actually worsen the parking situation and increase rat running along through Fairfield Park and along Camden. The Park and Ride really needs to be further out from the City and not in the already congested zone.”

Proposed Parking Restrictions

There are proposals to introduce parking restrictions on Pera Road, Thomas Street, Snow Hill and Arundel Road.The restrictions on Snow Hill were extensively consulted on and drawn up in cooperation with Somer Housing last year. This includes the introduction of a Crossing Point on Snow Hill and hopefully the restrictions will help to slow down traffic flows and make life safer for residents crossing the estate.

We are very keen to receive comments from nearby residents on the rest of the proposals and I am able to send copies of these to any interested residents by email or by post. I would encourage all residents whether in favour for the proposals or not to comment. The quickest way for this is to send an email to (I would be grateful if you would copy us in… ).

As you nay know the Planning, Transportation, Economy and Sustainability Overview and Scrutiny Panel, Chaired by Cllr David Dixon has highlighted some gaps in the way the Council consults on Traffic Regulation Orders and that the role of Ward members is particularly important in advising residents of changes to their local area and feedback from effected residents is equally important.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Helping Residents Stay in Touch

Local Councillors can sometimes be accused of being distant from the people they are supposed to represent. But a pair of councillors who represent the London Road and Snow Hill areas have introduced a new scheme designed to help residents in their ward keep in touch.

Cllrs Colin Darracott and David Dixon, who represent the Walcot ward on Bath and North East Somerset Council, are busy delivering a rather unusual postcard to local homes.

Cllr Dixon said: "One thing we always find people saying is that they don't know how to contact us.

"So we came up with the idea of doing this contact card, which is like a postcard with our phone numbers and details on, as well as a handy year planner."

The councillors hope the cards will prompt residents to get in touch with them if they have any concerns or issues they wish to raise.

Bathwick Estate - Resident's Parking Scheme

It has now been agreed to introduce a Resident's Parking Scheme in the Bathwick Estate.

The scheme is likely to be in place by March and when introduced this area would be signed as Zone 10 and, with special authorisation from the Department for Transport, parking bays would not be formally marked out. It is furher proposed to provide some areas with “no waiting at any time” restrictions to improve visibility and to assist vehicles turning.

Cllr David Dixon said, "This area suffers from a high level of commuter parking, partly due to being the nearest area to the city centre without resident's parking. The problem is worsened by the lack of road space for vehicles, this why it is intended not to lose more spaces by not formally marking out parking bays. There is no firm date for the scheme to be installed as the Council is waiting to hear from Contractors, but I'm sure that it will not be long now."