Update July 2022: York Street will close on 4 August, read our press release here. Advance works have started on the permanent measures, visit our works project webpage here.
Bath & North East Somerset Council and Avon & Somerset Police, have been working together to ensure Bath city centre is a safe, secure and welcoming for the people who live, work and visit here.
Since 2016, the Council has put in place various temporary security measures to provide a higher quality of protection from terrorism around Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths and Pump Room, as well as the retail core of the city centre. This has successfully helped maintain the city’s safety.
In June 2020 temporary access restriction measures were put in place to enable social distancing, as the government eased covid-19 restrictions. Prior to the pandemic, in conjunction with the Police, proposals were already underway to permanently strengthen and improve city centre security and public safety in parts of Bath’s historic city centre by 2021. The plans would see purpose-designed controlled vehicle access points and enhanced street furniture begin to replace existing temporary concrete barriers and gates.
The Council is committed to enabling the on-going recovery of Bath, and the need for security remains a significant factor in re-building Bath’s vitality.
Public consultation commenced on 16 November 2020 and ran until 31 January 2021. Due to Covid-19 restrictions the Council adapted its consultation to online methods, so people could provide feedback safely, paper copies were provided for those who did not have internet access.
As part of this process we brought in an adviser who is registered under the National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC) to carry out an Accessibility Study to consider the impacts on people living with various disabilities, including those with additional mobility needs. The Access Consultant reviewed responses received from the City Centre Security consultation, as well as engaging with the B&NES Independent Equalities Advisory Group (IEAG); the Active Travel and Accessibility Forum (ATAF) and a panel representing members of the community and local accessibility organisations chosen with the Council’s Equalities team.
In order to proceed with implementing this scheme, our Council Cabinet reviewed amendments to the proposals at its meeting on 20 July 2021. These included : Recommendations on next steps for the proposed scheme; the feedback report from the public consultation; the Accessibility Study. At this meeting, Cabinet decided to progress to the next stage of the project.
To implement or enforce parking restrictions of any kind on a public road, we needed to introduce a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO). In this case we would be using a combination of Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) and Traffic Regulation Orders for anti-terrorism purposes.
The consultation ran from 23 September until 14 October 2021. With information sessions held in Bath City Centre on 28 September, 4 and 12 October at the Council's Commercial Hub on New Bond Street. In December 2021 a decision was made to proceed with traffic regulation orders for some of these streets, you can view the reports and traffic regulations orders here.
We concluded consulting on these permanent TROs on 14 October 2021. These are the amended plans for the Bath City Centre security scheme, based on work done on this project so far. The recommended changes, without compromising security, are as follows:
- Cheap Street, Westgate Street, Saw Close and Upper Borough Walls: We are proposing vehicle access restrictions from 10am to 6pm, with controlled access permitted for Blue Badge holders and carers, taxis or other vehicles serving their needs.
- York Street: We plan to extend restricted access operating hours to 10am to 10pm, to support the increased footfall which is anticipated from Terrace Walk to the new Clore Learning Centre and World Heritage Centres.
- We are planning to provide extra Blue Badge parking, resident permit and loading space nearby, but outside of the restricted area.
On 1 January 2022, vehicles were permanently restricted in some streets in Bath as part of the Bath City Centre Security scheme. This was to protect the city's most crowded spaces from the risk of vehicle based terrorist attack.
On 20 June 2022, works began to replace temporary measures and install the permanent bollards following the outcome of a public inquiry. We expect the measures to take 9 months to complete.