Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More bus lanes planned for the London Road and Walcot Street

Now I am all for getting people out of cars and onto public transport, but the latest plans for the London Road is something that all resident and business owners need to be very much aware of.

Some of you will have read about the Rapid Transport Link proposal; which, in theory will be a designated bus `red route` linking a Park and Ride on the east side of the city and the Park and Ride at Newbridge on the west side of the city.

There is a severe shortage of explanation as to exactly how this bus lane is to be accommodated all along the London Road, then up London Street and down Walcot Street; then passing right round the Guildhall which will be totally bus gated against ordinary traffic (including Grand Parade and all delivery access to the Guildhall Market).

The simple fact is that the present bus lane on London Road is highly dangerous. At least three serious accidents in as many years, and any widening or extension of the bus lane must involve road widening.

On this side of the city we must find out what the implications are; will the green space in front of Grosvenor will be narrowed or taken away? Will the same happen at Kensington and the front gardens at Lower East Hayes will be shortened?

The pavement could all but disappear at Walcot Buildings and Walcot Terrace, where any form of loading or unloading will probably be banned. The same could apply at Longacre.

All parking will have to be banned on Walcot Street: which will effectively close all the small businesses there. Deliveries for Guildhall Market traders will be all but impossible and businesses on Grand Parade and Pulteney Bridge will also be affected.

So after fifty years of debate about traffic; has the council has finally decided that the final solution to Bath`s traffic problem is to kill off London Road Walcot Street, the High Street, Grand Parade and Pulteney Bridge as places to live and work?

As your local councillors we will be doing all that is possible to ensure that local residents and businesses are kept informed of what the proposals are, highways planners have alread agreed to meet up and walk the route to discuss possible issues that will arise.