Please be aware that this consultation is reaching its deadline. Because the impact of the changes will differ in different parts of the city FOBRA are not submitting a central response. The details of this consultation are on the NEWS tab on the website – just follow the link http://bathwickhill.info
In a four-week consultation, which runs UNTIL May 24, we are asking what people think about proposals to base residents’ parking permit charges on vehicle emissions and changes to move long stay visitor parking to off-street car parks. These proposals have been developed by Bath and North East Somerset Council and are designed to improve air quality ensuring a safer environment for pedestrians.
To view the proposals and take part in the consultation visit: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/travel-and-transport-consultations
Full details for the proposals and the background report can be viewed here:
This Saturday the farmer’s market will be at Park Farm in Kelston BA1 9AG. There is a lot of parking and a cafe. The market is not being held at Green Park because the roof has become unstable.
The market has a website so keep an eye out for future locations until a permanent home is found.
Bathwick Hill Residents’ Association
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on
Thursday 15TH April 2021 on Zoom
Sarah Trimmer – retiring Chair
Claire Jackson – new Chair
Andrea Haywood – Treasurer and acting secretary
David Martin – FOBRA rep
Bill and Veronica Otley
Graham and Jill Brown
Linda and Mark Snelus
Suzanne and Simon Campbell-Jones
Cllr Yuktesher Kumar
Cllr Manda Rigby
The retiring Chair, Sarah Trimmer welcomed all to the meeting. Apologies received by email from P’noo Stanley-Smith.
Agreement of Minutes of the last AGM
The last AGM was not held due to Covid restrictions.
As new Chair, Claire Jackson thanked Sarah for her long service on the BHRA committee in various roles and as Chair. She will remain on the committee.
The treasurer reported on the accounts for the year ended 28th February 2021. An effort to collect cash subs has been successful so that subscription income is now on track. Members that pay in cash had found it difficult to pay because no face to face gatherings could be held during Covid restrictions. The accounts were approved and are posted on the website.
Federation of Bath Residents’ Associations Report
The FOBRA rep updated the meeting on issues that FOBRA is dealing with and these are issues that are seen as Bath wide. These issues, which are influenced by the council through the planning process, included issues around the environment and response to climate change as well as other issues:-
- The Clean Air Zone
- Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
- Cleveland Bridge repairs and diversions
- Active Travel Scheme
- Closure of central Bath with “Ring of Steel” security
- Purpose built student accommodation and HMOs
- Proposals for the old Homebase site
All reports and meeting notes are available on the FOBRA website.
Mike Barron asked – if the closure of Cleveland Bridge to heavy traffic is made permanent, has the reaction of the Wiltshire areas that the diverted traffic will then drive through, been considered? This was not answered.
Election of the Committee
The following were offered for re election to the Committee:
Chair-person Claire Jackson
Secretary Temporarily Andrea Haywood
Treasurer Andrea Haywood
FOBRA representative David Martin
Sarah Trimmer, Colin Clark, Helen Green and Wendy Stockley.
Jill Brown nominated the motion to re-elect the committee and Veronica Otley seconded.
Some potential new committee members have come forward and hopefully will be elected.
Annual Programme of Events
The Chair thanked all who had opened their gardens for the Open Gardens event in September which was the only event we managed this year due to the lockdown restrictions. An open garden event is planned in July this year.
The members were asked for suggestions for any events that might be planned. Manda said that Sydney Gardens were running a lot of family friendly events over the summer and it might be possible to have a BHRA event there.
Any Other Business
Suggestions for nominated local charity are welcomed. Trussell trust, the food bank charity, was suggested by Helen Green to help those affected by Covid.
Cllrs Yuktesher Kumar and Manda Rigby updated us on local issues and answered questions.
A brief round-up of the issues and questions follows:-
- Pollution from traffic is a reoccurring issue and well over 3,000 responses to the Active travel consultation are being considered with a decision made at the end of May. The proposed closure of North Road as part of the Active travel scheme was not considered by the councillors as a solution to pollution and traffic management and would divert traffic to Bathwick Hill rather than increasing cycle traffic.
- The most polluted area in Bathwick Hill vicinity is the roundabout at the bottom of the hill.
- The CAZ currently in force doesn’t include private cars. The success of the CAZ as it stands will be judged by how much cleaner the air becomes. The point was made that the test should be done in October when travel is at full capacity. The councillors said the pollution monitoring will be continuous.
- It was confirmed by Manda that the funding for active travel can be used for any of 7 active travel schemes only one of which is the closure of North Road to motorised traffic.
- Cleveland Bridge closure for repairs starts May 4th with closure of one lane to erect scaffolding. After that the bridge will be closed to all traffic except pedestrians, bikes and the emergency services until the beginning of October. The council is working with Sat Nav providers to create dynamic diversions to mitigate the problems the closure of the bridge will cause.
- The Rec is still a big planning issue – there has been a planning application not to take down the temporary stand this year and a council decision on this is due next week
- There is a lot of opposition to the proposals to create a lot of parking under the Rec as this is against all the initiatives to reduce pollution in Bath.
- The security lockdown or “ring of steel” was initiated in response to police view that Bath city centre was a potential terrorist target being small and enclosed and a major tourist attraction. It is recognised that it has been overly strict and keeping Bath as a city in which people live centrally means that such restricted access is not possible. In particular the reduction of blue badge parking is under review. The consultation period on this has finished and the council is now working with the police to adjust these measures to keep central Bath workable for residents.
- Jill Brown raised the issue of a broken bench at the bus stop at the bottom of the hill. This bench has a plaque to Ken Smith who used to run the newsagents and corner shop on the hill. We need to investigate who paid for the bench and how the dedication can be preserved. New benches have been installed elsewhere on the hill and the canal side.
- Farmers market at Green Park is looking for a new home because the roof has become unstable. Council officers are looking for a permanent site – this was the first Farmer’s market in the UK.
- The overflowing bins at the exit to the fields at Cleveland Walk – The NT will not have bins as they do not have the resource to empty them. Likewise the council only have 3 vans to service all of the litter bins in Bath. The number of times the bins are emptied has increased however but residents who live close to the bins are still not content. The idea of removing the bins for 6 months was discussed to see if this increased the amount of litter taken home rather than left piled up at the side of the full bin. There was some support for this as an experiment.
Bath & North East Somerset Council are currently consulting on three proposed schemes for promoting Active Travel. These are generating a lot of interest and press coverage which you may have seen. Because there is a probable direct effect on traffic using Bathwick Hill the Bathwick Hill Residents Association has responded to the proposed experimental closure of North Road to through traffic to provide a route which is largely free of motor traffic for cycles and electric scooters. The content of the response was sent to you on Monday and is available on our website http://bathwickhill.info.
We would encourage all members to respond to these consultations where they have an interest, in particular those that are likely to impact on Bathwick Hill. The closure date to respond is the 21 March 2021. The link to the BathNES consultation areas is as follows:
Active Travel Schemes https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/active-travel-schemes
There are three schemes to comment on
• Combe Down to the University of Bath: Copseland
• City Centre to the University of Bath: Beckford Road and North Road
• A4 Upper Bristol Road
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.
From Cllr Manda Rigby
Below an invite to a webinar about active travel. Please can you circulate and encourage people to attend, especially those impacted by the Beckford Road/North Road schemes, including the Bathwick Estate, Cleveland Walk, Bathwick Hill, and surrounding roads.
Please find the latest accounts posted on the accounts page of the website. The year has been unusual as there has been little activity due to the covid situation. The subscriptions for the year are a little down because cash was not able to be collected at the AGM or the Autumn meeting. Many of you now pay by standing order which is very helpful and I have had cash through the door from a number of members so thank you for that. Please email me on email@example.com if you have any questions regarding the accounts or subscriptions payments.
You will have received a letter from B&NES regarding the proposed cycle lane on North and associated changes related to this.
Please can you reply to this on www.bathnes.gov.uk/activetravelschemes or
you can get a paper copy of the consultation by calling Council Connect 01225394041.
BHRA committee are meeting to discuss a response as we are concerned about the impact of increased traffic Bathwick Hill , but it is important that individuals respond.
The deadline for responses is 21st March 2021
For details of Uni plans, please click on link