Bath Quays Waterside: Reconnecting Bath to its River

Bath & North East Somerset Council and the Environment Agency are working together to deliver a very important infrastructure project to deliver flood defences for parts of the city centre that will also begin to build a positive relationship between Bath’s city centre and the River Avon.

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Flood Management

The Bath Quays Waterside Project will put in place essential flood mitigation and flood defence works to the north and south banks of the river between Churchill Bridge and Midland Bridge that address the negative impacts of climate change. In summary, these interventions will:

  • Reduce existing and future flood risk to the Lower Bristol Road and over 100 residential and commercial properties on the South side of the river through the provision of new flood defences;
  • Provide the flood mitigation to enable the redevelopment of the Bath Quays and Manvers Street sites in order to realise the Council’s ‘Bath Quays' project and deliver new jobs and homes.

While the Bath Quays Waterside Project was conceived as a flood mitigation and defence project, it is also a major opportunity to overcome the city’s history of turning its back on the river. The project seeks to significantly enhance the riverside, creating better access and a more beautiful and enjoyable environment for local people and visitors to the city. These improvements will then be complemented and completed by the forthcoming development of ‘Bath Quays’. 

Click on the map below to view a bigger version.

Bath Quays Waterside Project Plan

In summary, the plan will:

  • Provide the flood mitigation to enable the redevelopment of the Bath Quays and Manvers Street sites forming the first step towards the realisation of the Bath City Riverside Enterprise Area and the Council's 'Bath Quays' project.
  • Significantly widen the north bank to up to 15m wide at the lower towpath level between Churchill Bridge and Green Park to move water through this area more quickly in flood conditions. This would require that Green Park Road is diverted away from the riverside northwards to link up with Corn Street creating the major opportunity to open up the riverside to the city.
  • Remove trees along the southern verge of Green Park Road and along the new road alignment and replace them with new planting.
  • Install new flood walls and raise existing river walls on the south side of the river between Churchill Bridge and Midland Bridge.
  • Improving flood defences on existing buildings fronting onto the river along the Lower Bristol Road.

 The Council and Environment Agency are funding these works (£6.22 million) with a combination of Revolving Infrastructure funding made available by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, and Local Levy and Flood Defence Grant in Aid funding.  

Project Construction

The project was granted planning consent in February 2015. To view the planning application, go to: www.bathnes.gov.uk/BathQuaysWatersidePlans

The first site activity took place in early 2015 with the removal of trees and other vegetation. The first phase of construction work commenced early 2016, starting with the diversion of Green Park Road, to be then followed by the work to widen and landscape the north river bank later in the year. Work to provide the majority of the flood defence boundary along the south river banks commenced in Spring 2016. 

Riverbank works - 2017

Works to create the new south facing riverside park are nearing completion. Tree planting is complete and areas have been topsoiled in readiness for the planting of shrubs, wildflowers and grass seeding.

In order to create the lower promenade, and widen the existing towpath between Green Park and Churchill Bridge, the towpath will be closed from Monday 9 January for the remainder of the north bank works. Boat moorings will still be accessible, with pedestrians and cyclists signposted to divert via Ambury, Corn Street, Green Park Road and Green Park cycle path - see plan in the Documents section of this page. The widened river bank is designed to accommodate the flow of flood waters, and so once open to the public, access to the bank will be restricted during flood events.

As a result of the extensive archaeology, we now anticipate that the majority of the new riverside park will be completed in mid-2017. A section of the landscaping on the north bank, in the area of the proposed Bath Quays Bridge landing (opposite the Riverside Coach Park), will not be completed until 2018, after the Bridge is installed (subject to planning consent).

On the south side of the river installation of flood defences in buildings fronting onto the river along the Lower Bristol Road as well as flood wall construction between Midland Bridge and Newark Works is substantially complete. The remaining phase, to install new flood walls and raise existing river walls between Camden Mill and Churchill Bridge, is now underway.

We anticipate that flood defence works along the south edge of the river will be completed in 2017/2018 as part of the Bath Quays South development scheme.

Highway works - Spring 2016

On Monday, May 16 traffic was permanently diverted from Green Park Road onto the new two-way system around Avon Street Car park which will then allow the widening of the adjacent river bank improving the River Avon's ability to convey flood water, and establish a new riverside public open space. Under the new traffic system, Ambury remains one-way but with the existing buses-only restriction removed, and a new exit onto Ambury from the Avon Street car park has been created, to replace the current exit onto Green Park Road. The entrance to the car park is unchanged and remains on Corn Street.  Although Green Park Road will be closed to motorised traffic, a route along will be retained for pedestrians and cyclists for use once the scheme is completed.

Riverside Coach Park and cafe and Avon St car park will remain open throughout the works, although the coach park will operate as a short term parking facility only, with long term coach parking available at the First Bus depot at Weston Island. For information on coach parking, go to: www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/parking-and-travel/coach-parking

Riverside path improvements - Spring 2016

Improvement works to the pedestrian/cycle path between Nelson Villas and Green Park, as part of the Bath Quays Waterside project works, are now complete.

 For detailed information about the construction works and its impact on the public, please refer to the question and answer sheet provided in the Documents section on this page and visit the Contractor's community web page at: http://community.alungriffiths.co.uk/works-in-your-area/bath-quays-waterside/.

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