More than 1600 residents have so far put forward suggestions on how to transform Bath and North East Somerset’s streets into places where people choose to walk and cycle.
Through the Liveable Neighbourhoods project, Bath & North East Somerset Council aims to encourage a long-term shift in the way people travel and take pressure off the roads and public transport network. It wants to encourage people to walk and cycle more by making it easier to get around, while continuing to support those who depend on their vehicle for mobility.
The council is taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 with temporary measures to widen pavements, remove traffic from roads and improve cycling in a number of areas to help people socially distance. It now wants to look at where additional measures could be considered across the district, such as access restrictions, to support Liveable Neighbourhoods.
Residents are being asked for their help in shaping the plans by identifying locations where more space can be created for walking and cycling, accessibility improved, or the impact of traffic reduced. Since launching dedicated Liveable Neighbourhoods website, on Tuesday 26 May, the council has received more than 2000 suggestions.
Councillor Joanna Wright, cabinet member for Transport Services, said: “I’m delighted we’ve had such a great response so far. As we move into the recovery phase of COVID-19, we are all being asked to consider more active ways of travel and rethink our vehicle use. We want to work with our residents to solve existing traffic and environmental problems with the fresh knowledge we have gained during the pandemic. Our long-term vision is to create a connected district fit for the future and play our part in tackling the Climate Emergency.
“I would urge people to get involved as through Liveable Neighbourhoods residents have the opportunity to help shape the future of transport in their community. Of course, the financial impact of the pandemic has been severe and its critical we use our limited resources effectively, but information provided by residents will help us focus our effort in the right places.”
The consultation is specifically intended to identify areas for improvement that will get more people walking and cycling for local journeys, a key modal shift that will have benefits in reducing traffic and making it easier for those that rely on vehicles to get around.
At this stage, the council is asking for views from people about where they would like to see changes. Any ideas submitted that are taken forward will be subject to further public engagement and if new permanent traffic restrictions are identified they will involve a formal consultation process.
To find out more about Liveable Neighbourhoods and to submit your suggestions visit: https://bathnesliveablestreets.commonplace.is