In 2016 Heritage Services were awarded £3.4 million by the National Heritage Lottery Fund to expand the Roman Baths and create an educational centre in the heart of Bath. The new state-of-the-art World Heritage Visitor Centre and Clore Learning Centre will bring back to life an important group of dilapidated buildings in the city centre.
Construction of the first section of public realm works were completed in 2021 and included the delivery of an accessible entrance to the Learning Centre along with new surface treatment laid in high quality, pennant flagstone. In January 2022 the new surface treatment continued into York Street, towards Kingston Parade along with a package of works to reduce the impact of water ingress into the vaults below the highway.
The full public realm scheme comprisesd the section of York Street, between Kingston Parade and Stall Street, and the northern section of Swallow Street. It seeks to enhance the visitor experience to this special part of the city and to allow people to move around the area more safely.
The area has been resurfaced in a high-quality natural stone, in keeping with the historic streetscape, and the carriageway raised to create a level surface throughout the public realm scheme. The public realm will tie into Stall Street, Kingston Parade and Abbey Street allowing for a smooth transition throughout these spaces.
A two-phased approach to the construction programme was designed to respond to local business concerns about the impact of construction on York Street trading during the busy summer and Christmas months.
York Street works – 2022
Improvement works to York Street, between Stall Street and Kingston Parade, commenced on 6 January 2022 and were completed on 6 May 2022.
Later this year a new bench will also be installed at the junction of Stall Street and York Street, along with a bin store for the bottom of Swallow Street.
The part of York Street at the entrance of the new Bath World Heritage Centre, which opens on May 9, remains open to pedestrians only. A Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) has been in place there since 2017 to protect the vaults below the street.
The section of York street that was temporarily closed for the works has now been reopened to traffic.
Proposals to permanently restrict vehicle access to the rest of York St, between 10am-6pm for the purpose of anti-terrorism and between 6pm and 10pm for preserving or improving the amenities of the areas through which the road runs, are dependent on the outcome of a public inquiry held on April 26.