Traffic congestion is threatening NE Bath residents, including children, to illegally poor air quality



The blogpost title above is our headline to support the launch of our report which is first mentioned  here on our blog.

The elevator pitch is as follows:

Air quality in Bath is illegally poor and has to improve.  We believe Camden and NE Bath is more afflicted than is realised, and so demands special attention from the Council.

And the one minute version is this:

The extent of the traffic problem has been highlighted in the recently published report ‘Tackling Traffic Congestion and Poor Air Quality in NE Bath’ by the Camden Residents’ Association (CRA).

At peak times, Camden Road is over 50% as busy as the main arterial A4, the London Road, and yet it is a narrow, single track, residential street.  The full 1.5 mile rat run through both Larkhall and Camden draws in traffic not only from the East and North but also the South of the city.  This traffic passes three schools, uses constricted residential streets and threatens residents and the many commuting pedestrians with illegally poor air quality.  At non-peak times air quality recovers slightly, but most drivers exceed the 20 mph speed limit creating other safety issues.

Whilst accepting that poor air quality is a pressing Bath-wide issue the CRA delivered its report at a B&NES Cabinet meeting on 7th February and requested that the Council consider the area of NE Bath particularly carefully.

The evidence-based report is available to read or download on the association’s website and the shorter cabinet submission is available on their blog at

You can also subscribe to our blog, write a comment and offer support below.  We really look forward to hearing from you.


Ward Boundary Changes

Ward Boundary ChangesThe proposed changes, due to be enacted soon are causing a bit of stir and were discussed at the CRA committee last night and previously in January.  I’ve tried to get my head round this for the CRA and added a bit of interpretation.  It’s here.

One of our councillors is objecting and I’m simply passing this on, and not offering comment, below:

To summarise, Richard Samuel objects to the proposal to bring part of Lambridge into Walcot and feels that Fairfield Park also should remain part of Larkhall/Lambridge. He suggests extending Walcot down towards Lansdown, and further south towards Pulteney Bridge, as far as Cleveland Bridge in the east, and proposes the elimination of Abbey ward – part of the current Abbey would come into Walcot and the other part into Kingsmead.   As far as Camden is concerned, that would mean that the coherence of the Camden community would be retained.

I am writing to respond to the initial proposals published by the Commission in as much as they affect the North East area of Bath city.

I am a current councillor for Walcot ward in that area covering Bathwick, Camden and Fairfield Park areas. I submitted an initial response to the commission at the first stage.

I am appalled at the way the new ward boundaries have been described particularly as they fly against the Commission’s own stated objectives for re-warding particularly in terms of community identity. I therefore wish the following points to be taken into consideration by the Commission in framing the final proposals.

  1. The transfer of the Bathwick estate WA1 polling district to a new Bathwick ward was expected and I do not oppose it as it is clearly a distinct community.
  2. I welcome the continuation of a new Walcot ward in the proposals but I now wish to comment on the detail of how these have been derived.
  3. With the loss of WA1 the Commission has added an area of Larkhall bounded by Claremont Rd and Dowding Road to compensate for the loss of electors into Walcot. This is ludicrous. The area in question is at the heart of the Larkhall Village and I doubt any of the residents would consider themselves to be Walcot residents when the local shops and facilities are literally 100m away. This area should be returned into the new Larkhall/Lambridge ward.
  4. The diminution of Lambridge ward into a smaller Larkhall ward fundamentally misunderstands the interwoven nature of the Fairfield Park/Larkhall community. Fairfield Park is closely connected to Larkhall centre by public transport and has a very clear community identity. Local groups face towards Larkhall where there are very well used community facilities as well as shops and other amenities such as motor repairers etc. The area of Fairfield Park it is proposed to transfer into Walcot should therefore remain in Lambridge ward.
  5. The Commission is also  proposing to divide the very long established Camden community into three wards – Walcot, Kingsmead and Abbey. Again this flies in the face of the commission’s own stated objectives for community identity. A residents association represents the Camden area in the north and a community partnership in the area around the London Road.  The commission’s plans will divide these communities.
  6. There is a simple solution which will deliver the same outcome. It was put forward by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in the first stage. This is to retain and extend Walcot ward towards the Lansdown Road down through Broad St to Pulteney Bridge and across to Cleveland Bridge. In consequence this part of Abbey ward is merged with Kingsmead ward and disappears. This will provide sufficient electors, retain community identity and work well with established transport links.
  7. The new proposed wards are represented as follows:-

Lambridge 2 members
Walcot 2 members
Kingsmead/Abbey 2 members
Weston 2 members
Newbridge 2 members
Lansdown 1 member

Total 11 as before but with the major advantage that no communities are split up and still achieving a reduction in councillor numbers.

Richard Samuel, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Walcot Ward.

You can reply to this below or send in an objection to the commission here, and then click on ‘Have your say’.  NB by 19/02

Notice of road works in London Road and Cleveland Place 19/2 – 30/4

This is a copy and paste of an email sent to Richard Samuel…
Dear Councillors
From next Monday, 19 February, a series of road works begin in London Road and Cleveland Place.
The first works are for gas services and then there are various B&NES works until the end of April. The works are not continuous and there may be short gaps between each completing and the next one starting. This is to avoid overruns and one set of works clashing with another.
The B&NES work includes:
  1. resurfacing part of London Road/Cleveland Place,
  2. repairs to the Cleveland Bridge toll house,
  3. the extension to the loading bay at Walcot Terrace in London Road (subject to the outcome of the TRO consultation),
  4. modifications to parts of the London Road cycle lane.
Not all of the works will cause disruption to traffic and we have co-ordinated them to minimise this as far as possible, with the objective of avoiding lane closures at peak times, using extending working hours and overnight working. However, this is not possible on all of the works.
Additional temporary Variable Message Signs are being provided on approaches to the city not already covered by our permanent VMS, to give drivers information.
We were aware of this coming and it is probably inevitable.  Please click the post title (above) and comment with ideas for minimising consequential disruption to Camden.

Our report goes to Cabinet on 7th February

BANES CabinetI shall be away so Nigel Sherwen will represent us on the 7th.  He will get 3 minutes to address the meeting and our views will be particularly directed at the Councillor Mark Shelford – Cabinet member for Transport and Environment, who has kindly agreed to accept a hard copy of our report in advance of the meeting.

In the three minutes he has, Nigel will put our case strongly.  It’s a good discipline to be able to boil down 51 pages into a few hundred words.  Here it is – click here

Calling all users of Margaret’s Hill

CRA Margaret's Hill

Not a great photo, as the proposed change affects drivers descending the hill.  It’s quite a difficult manoeuvre turning left onto London Road but very useful if turning right onto Cleveland Bridge.

The proposal will ban the left turn for safety reasons.  The obvious alternative is to turn right and do a ‘u-ie’ at the mini roundabout.  Apparently this is illegal but I cannot substantiate this at all.  It will happen, won’t it? and it’s probably safer.

If you want to have your say then send an email by 15/02 from here quoting “TRO17-028/SC.”

The substance of the traffic order is here:  Margaret’s Hill Notice Newspaper.