Transport issues continue to dominate the news locally and of particular focus in 2017 has been parking. In the autumn B&NES consulted on their proposed parking strategy for the region. The Trust responded in full to the strategy which amongst other things proposed to increase the amount of short term on street parking in the city centre (by releasing some more long term bays) in order to support residents, local businesses, shops and restaurants. The Trust had serious concerns about this approach in that an increase in the availability of parking would result in an increase in car movements as residents ‘pop to town’; the result would be increased traffic – congestion – and poor air quality. We could not see how, contrary to the claims of the strategy, an increase in parking availability encourages a modal shift away from reliance on the car for use in the city centre.
Other proposals, such as a focus on more and better digital real time traffic and parking signage and a focus on encouraging the use of park and ride sites, and more informal park and link sites on the periphery of Bath, were supported.
You can read our full response here: Parking Strategy Consultation
Coach Parking Strategy
A poorly conceived strategy for the management of coaches in the city was also consulted upon in the autumn of 2017. Our initial reaction was surprise that it appeared that the paper was skewed heavily in favour of the perceived needs of the pro-coach stakeholders, with very little regard given to the views of local organisations such as ourselves and the residents associations. The key tenets of the strategy were to increase the provision of short stay and drop off coach parking bays in the city centre (Bog Island and Green Park) and to create a long term coach parking area at Odd Down Park and Ride. No solution was offered for the issue of ‘cruising coaches’ that do not stop in Bath for longer than a photo opportunity but which clog up our historic sites and our air.
Our primary and serious concern was the ambition to increase coach access and short stay parking in the city centre and the associated knock-on effect on increased coach movements, congestion and air quality and we made this clear in a strongly worded response. We understand that other similar objections were received and the strategy’s authors have had to return to the drawing board. You can read our response here: Coach Parking Strategy
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