Traffic schemes will create new rat-runs
“The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”, which neatly sums up my view of the low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) schemes. I suspect that once again B&NES will be embracing this initiative as another way of getting rid of the private motorist, covering our city in neglected cycle lanes, and seeing 90-year-olds on electric bikes crawling up Bathwick Hill and mothers with children in little trailers doing the same!
The scheme is fatally flawed in many respects. A vociferous few residents and parish councils will push for the changes, it is reported, with little regard for its impact on adjoining two-way artery roads, which will inherit all the redirected traffic. They will become the new rat-runs where congested traffic, with engines running, pollutes the atmosphere with toxic fumes and noise. For every low-traffic area there will be a high-traffic one. As demonstrated by the last Lib Dem administration, who installed the bus-gate, simply pushing the traffic elsewhere isn’t the answer to B&NES’ many unresolved traffic problems.
The consultation survey is a “special piece of work” in itself. While in my opinion very “flawed”, it is the only option for residents of Bath to voice their condemnation of this “crass” scheme.
Should you decide to respond, I think, to read all the gobbledegook, and work with a clear mind, you will need at least an hour of your time. Beware of the, in my opinion, “loaded questions”, such as the one that asks you if you strongly agree with all sorts of tempting advantages of the scheme (such as reducing rat-runs etc.). This is cleverly worded to elicit a “strongly agree” answer, which once given will, I suspect, swiftly negate all your “strongly disagree” answers and give your approval to LTNS.
I think a much safer way to lodge your disapproval would be to write to your local councillors (especially if she happens to be the cabinet member for highways)!
All sorts of other undertakings come included, such as planters (see those in Snowhill), changes to residents’ permit schemes, that may end up in your wife having to walk home from parking the car miles away late at night, or in the early hours. All this because I doubt that B&NES will invest the necessary resources to “police” the scheme. Blue Badge holders are not forgotten, so I suggest you read what is proposed, as the devil is in the detail.
Brave new park-and-ride facilities are offered, but the Conservatives lost a local election over the Eastern P&R proposals.
Traffic calming rears its discredited head again, despite adding to noise and air pollution and impeding the progress of emergency vehicles.
Why oh why is B&NES still going ahead with the CAZ initiative, when other cities have either deferred or completely abandoned the idea? Do they see it as another revenue stream, once the enormous set-up costs have been found? The mechanics of it will do further lasting damage to our heritage city i.e. cameras, signs and lashings of bright paint on our roads.
I would dissuade your readers from believing that the LTNS will only be a temporary measure, and that further views would be sought before making them permanent. I fear they would be difficult if not impossible to reverse, as I have spent the last 10 years trying to get an offending speed ramp removed, all to no avail.
B&NES have major work to do dealing with all our existing ratruns, without creating new ones.
It is reported that more than 40 per cent of us would never buy an electric car, and because of all the precious metals used in their batteries, I doubt that they are as ecofriendly as claimed!
Given that e-cars have to park up while charging, where will they all park themselves now that our city streets have been cleared of all the on-street parking places? P Bowden Bath