Bath Alliance for Transport and Public Realm

Press Release 22 November 2016

Top Bath organisations back long term transport plan

Fifteen of Bath’s leading organisations have come together to support B&NES Council’s transport effort in Bath and to urge the council to develop a comprehensive, long term transport plan for the city.

The Bath Alliance for Transport and Public Realm, sponsored by Bath Bridge, was officially launched today with a presentation to the council’s senior political and executive leadership teams led by Council Leader, Tim Warren.  At the meeting, hosted by Bath Abbey, the Alliance explained that it has joined up not as a pressure group to lobby for any special interests but to speak in unison about transport for the vast majority of all Bath’s stakeholders.

Highlights of the Alliance’s presentation included:

  • The Alliance is the voice of key Bath stakeholders on transport and the public realm in the city
  • Bath stakeholders represented by the Alliance include residents, property owners, workers, employers, visitors, hotels, shoppers, retailers, businesses, sport, the heritage community, the cultural sector and the transport sector
  • Acute transport dysfunction has long prevented Bath from reaching its potential as one of the great small cities
  • ‘The Bath Problems’ with transport are:  Extreme congestion and high levels of air pollution; Degraded public realm in a World Heritage City with public spaces dominated by traffic and restricted pedestrian movement; Car-dependent mobility and limited scope for walking, cycling and public transport
  • The Alliance supports the council’s existing transport policy framework, including the 2014 Bath Transport Strategy and the 2010 Public Realm and Movement Strategy
  • The Alliance urges the council to complete the transport policy framework by developing a long-term, comprehensive transport plan for Bath, without which the city’s serious transport issues cannot be resolved
  • The Alliance expresses no views on specific potential transport initiatives; but it does offer suggestions on the essential features of an effective transport plan
  • The Alliance offers to bring Bath’s stakeholders into partnership with the council to assist in developing a long-term Transport Plan for Bath
  • A Transport Plan for Bath would start with a Vision of Bath as A beautiful city in a green setting with vibrant public spaces, a historic centre free of all but essential traffic, clean air, good mobility and excellent transport infrastructure

“Resolving Bath’s transport issues is at once the most important issue for the city and the most difficult for the council to address. That is why so many of Bath’s leading organisations have come together to offer support and encouragement to develop a long-term plan for delivery”, said Stephen Taylor of Bath Bridge.

Speaking for the Alliance, Van DuBose said, “The transport plan we are suggesting would address the organizational, skills, planning & control,decision criteria, resourcesand public engagement issues that any major programme must deal with before successful delivery can start.

Resolving Bath’s longstanding and severe transport problems requires a clear vision for the city’s public realm and a package of many initiatives, large and small, all of which work together as a comprehensive programme over many years. If Bath’s stakeholders can see and become convinced that the plan as a whole will serve to resolve ‘The Bath Problems’ a sense of shared civic responsibility will bring broad support.”

Welcoming the Alliance initiative, Council Leader Tim Warren said, “Taking the long-term action needed to address Bath’s traffic and transport issues is one of our highest priorities, and we are optimistic that the West of England devolution agreement will unlock significant investment in our area’s transport infrastructure. I welcome the support the Transport Alliance has shown for this effort and their offer to work with the Council on implementing a long-term transport plan for Bath. At the same time, we always welcome new suggestions for ways to improve travel in and around Bath, and I look forward to further discussions with the Alliance on this initiative.”

The Alliance intends to meet with all B&NES Council political groups to inform them of the proposals it has made to the council leadership.

Ends

Notes for Editors:

About the Alliance: The Alliance is an informal joining up of its members to create a unified voice for the vast majority of Bath stakeholders with vital interests in excellent transport and public realm. The Alliance members are:

Abbey Hotel | Aviva Investors | Bath Bridge | Bath City FC | Stay in Bath |Bath Preservation Trust |Bath Rugby | Bath Festivals | CARA | Curo |Cycle Bath | FirstBus | FoBRA | Sustrans | Wessex Water

About Bath Bridge: Bath Bridge is an independent Community Interest Company with a vision of helping Bath to become one the leading small cities.Its directors work on a voluntary basis to sponsor Bath initiatives that assist the city with Economic Prosperity, Civic Cohesion and Excellence of Place.Bath Bridge is the sponsor of the Alliance.