City Centre to University of Bath Proposals via North Road
We are opposed to the proposal for the bus gate in North Road. The impact of this proposal will be a high increase in traffic using Bathwick Hill with little increase in cycles using North Road.
Bathwick Hill is already a very busy road with many buses using the hill for access to the University. In addition there are a large number of cars and commercial vehicles that use the hill in normal (non Covid) times.
Large stretches of Bathwick Hill have houses that have no front gardens set very close to the road. For example George Street and Raby Place. Many other houses have a small frontage area, giving residents very little protection from traffic fumes and noise.
North Road is mainly used for vehicles to access public facilities. These include the West entrance to the University, the golf course and King Edwards School. Any traffic accessing the golf course or University West car park from central Bath will now have to drive up the full length of Bathwick Hill before turning left into North Road. In addition any traffic to King Edwards from the Combe Down direction, via Oakley will now have to travel down the full length of Bathwick Hill, possibly using a short cut along Cleveland Walk if this remains open. Similar increases in travel on the hill will result from return journeys. In addition there will be additional traffic from North Road residents and visitors.
The scheme is not linked to any plans to reduce the use of cars overall, for example there are no proposals to reduce car parking spaces at any of these facilities which might result in a modal shift away from car travel. In addition there are no plans to help students or other potential cyclists to purchase electric bikes.
We do not believe that North Road will be the preferred route for students cycling to the university. Most students live to the West of the hills leading up to the university. Cyclists would have to cycle past Widcombe Hill, Bathwick Hill and Prior Park before reaching North Road.
We do support measures to improve safety of cyclists on Bathwick Hill, with traffic calming measures and potentially a cycle lane.
Travel to the university by bus is likely to remain the most important method of transport for them. There is a very good service from Oldfield Park to the campus and bus travel will continue to be the travel mode of choice for the vast majority of students.
Combe Down to University of Bath
We do support more cyclists being encouraged to use the route from Combe Down to the university and the proposed crossing at the top of Bathwick Hill will help both cyclists and local residents. We also support the improvements for pedestrians crossing the top of North Road and crossing Copseland at its junction with Bathwick Hill. Both of these junctions are very difficult for pedestrians at present. There is currently no pavement build out at Copseland and we hope the new scheme will improve sightlines for pedestrians crossing from Bathwick Hill to Oakley across Copseland.