Work to improve walking and cycling along two routes in Bath to encourage more active ways of travel will get under way this summer following the approval of changes to parking restrictions.
Segregated cycle lanes will be created and improvements made for pedestrians along the A4 Upper Bristol Road and A36 Beckford Road.
It follows careful consideration of feedback received on the changes to parking restrictions that are required to create segregated cycle lanes along both routes.
More than 500 residents and businesses commented on the Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) advertising the proposed changes last December.
In the consultation 57 per cent of respondents supported or partially supported the Upper Bristol Road scheme with 72 per cent supporting or partially supporting the Beckford Road scheme.
The majority of people who responded in favour of the proposals made reference to the need for safe and convenient infrastructure for cyclists and to create better places for people on foot. However, the most frequent concerns raised by people objecting to the proposals was related to the loss of on-street parking spaces and questioning the need for the cycle lanes.
Councillor Sarah Warren, Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Climate and Sustainable Travel said:
We do acknowledge these schemes will have an impact on some residents and businesses along the routes. That’s why we’ve taken time to study people’s feedback and have made some changes to the proposed restrictions such as retaining double yellow lines in Forester Road as part of the Beckford Road scheme.
While some respondents don’t see the need for designated cycle lanes, national research shows that one of the major barriers preventing more people from cycling is concern about safety. Providing cycles lanes will enable more people to get on their bikes and as we develop a larger improved cycle network across Bath and North East Somerset cycling will become more accessible to more people.
Providing safer cycling facilities as part of Bath’s planned network of cycle routes and making improvements for pedestrians will help us to tackle the climate emergency while improving the health of our communities.
The A4 Upper Bristol Road scheme will see new cycle lanes installed that are separate from motor traffic, between Midland Road and Charlotte Street. Road crossings will also be prioritised for those on foot. Additional bus shelters and cycle parking will also be provided.
The A36 Beckford Road scheme will see a new eastbound cycle lane separated from motor traffic created along Beckford Rd, with some on-street parking re-provided nearby. There will also be improvements to road crossings.
Both schemes are being funded by £500,000 from the Government’s Active Travel Fund to enable more people to walk or cycle for local trips. The council submitted the successful bid to the Department for Transport through the West of England Combined Authority.
Councillor Warren added:
These schemes are part of our wider strategy to make it more convenient to walk or cycle for short journeys, helping residents, businesses, and visitors to Bath and North East Somerset to cut their carbon emissions, reduce air pollution and live healthier lives.
We’ve consulted extensively and I believe these schemes are safe, meet the needs of residents and businesses and will encourage more sustainable travel.