Bath Chronicle

More time to have say on city security plans

- Stephen Sumner Local democracy reporter

Residents are being given longer to comment on proposals to permanentl­y upgrade security on Bath’s busiest streets after only 200 people responded.

Measures backed by police chiefs could see all parking, including for Blue Badge holders, removed from a secure zone and road access limited to prevent hostile vehicle attacks.

Concrete barriers are already in place but could be replaced later this year with a series of static and moving bollards intended to fit with Bath’s character.

Avon and Somerset Police counter-terror officers who advised Bath and North East Somerset Council insist that the measures are proportion­ate to the “very real” threat.

Among the critics was the Abbey Residents’ Associatio­n, which warned that disabled city centre residents face being “trapped” by the “draconian” proposals.

Others have accused the council of being “anti-motorist”.

Access controls into the centre are already in place from 10am to 6pm as part of social distancing measures, with officers admitting authorised vehicles only, such as emergency access, major constructi­on or road workers, removal companies, and bank cash lorries.

To maintain safety through the night the council says it will be necessary to maintain limited access restrictio­ns from 6pm to 10am.

Access will need to be granted via CCTV for business deliveries, market traders and waste collection. Control room staff will have the final say on who gets through the barriers.

Pedestrian­s, cyclists and emergency vehicles will have access at all times but there will be no access for residents’ vehicles, food or parcel deliveries to homes, car parking or taxis.

The authority has extended its consultati­on on the proposals until January 31.

Cllr Joanna Wright, cabinet member for transport services, said: “I want to thank everyone who has already taken part in the consultati­on.

“We have had more than 200 responses so far. However the latest lockdown has had an impact on many businesses and so we have decided to extend the consultati­on for a few more weeks to give people plenty of time to have their say.

“We also appreciate how important vehicle access within the city is for our businesses, residents and particular­ly for people with restricted mobility.

“We have recently appointed a specialist to work with local accessibil­ity groups and other key local stakeholde­rs to look at issues and recommend mitigation measures before the plans are finalised. It is important we ensure as many people as possible give their views on these proposals, before we begin considerin­g all the responses.’”

For more informatio­n on the plans and to respond to the consultati­on, visit citycentre­securityco­nsultation. Feedback will be used to inform refinement­s to the draft proposals before the council formally advertises the traffic regulation orders, which would enable the access restrictio­ns to be enforced.

 ??  ?? The new “secure zone” planned for the centre of Bath
The new “secure zone” planned for the centre of Bath

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