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Church Street through-traffic restriction trial (ETRO consultation)

Why are we consulting

We are inviting residents to give feedback on a new through-traffic restriction which we are trialling in Church Street, Widcombe, Bath. The scheme will be formally enforced from 17 November 2022 and in place for a minimum of six months.

We are installing the trial under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO), which means that you can experience the scheme in-situ before submitting your comments on how it is working. Installation work will start on the week beginning 28 November 2022.

At the end of six months, we’ll gather all of the feedback we’ve collected on the trial before deciding whether to make the restriction permanent.

This trial is the first in a range of improvements for the area under the community-led Liveable Neighbourhoods programme

Purpose of the scheme

Church Street will be trialled as a ‘no through route’ for six months to prevent motorists from using it as an inappropriate shortcut between Ralph Allen Drive and Widcombe Hill.

The aim is to ensure this narrow, residential street is a safer, healthier environment for those walking, cycling, and playing outside.

The scheme does not restrict vehicle access to homes, businesses or the church, but it may require drivers to take alternative routes. 

Scheme details

The trial will introduce a modal filter – in this case two sets of drop-down bollards – on either side of St Thomas a Becket’s Church and Widcombe Manor to stop vehicles passing through. We are putting an ETRO in place to assess your feedback about the impact of the trial.

To view the final detailed design, click the panels on the map below. Links to the final designs will then appear.

This filter is designed to allow pedestrians, cyclists, people with pushchairs and those driving mobility scooters to pass through, but not unauthorised vehicles.

Vehicle access (including for delivery vans and larger vehicles) is available from either side of the filter via Ralph Allen Drive or Widcombe Hill.

There is space in front of each set of bollards so that vehicles can turn and exit using the same route.

New double yellow lines will be provided in front of the bollards located south of the church (with access to Ralph Allen Drive) to create a turning space. These will be painted on the west side of the street. The parking bay opposite will be retained.

The emergency services, church leaders, drivers of some service vehicles and administrators for the National Trust will be able to drop the bollards to gain access when required.

Alternative routes

We will provide advance warning signs to alert motorists that they will not be able to use Church Street as a through route.

Residents of Church Lane will not have vehicle access to their homes via Ralph Allen Drive and should instead proceed down the hill (along Prior Park Road) to enter Church Street/Church Lane via Widcombe Hill.

Depending on your final destination on Church Street, access is either via Ralph Allen Drive or via Widcombe Hill.

Alternative routes are shown in the map below:

A map showing the diversion of traffic from Church Street

Previous public engagement

This is one of three ETROs for through-traffic restriction trials across Bath and North East Somerset which we are implementing ahead of wider improvements under the community-led Liveable Neighbourhoods (LN) programme. The trial was brought forward by ward councillors on behalf of residents who had identified through-traffic and anti-social driving as an issue during a consultation on Liveable Neighbourhoods in December 2021.

In August 2022, we asked whether you specifically supported a trial of a through-traffic restriction at this location and gathered feedback from the community on a preliminary design.

We also consulted with key stakeholders such as the emergency services, waste, highways, and local landowners during this engagement. Emergency services and local farm traffic will still be able to use this route.

Following this engagement, a decision was made to proceed with the trial under an ETRO.

Read the engagement feedback report and the single member decision

Have your say

The ETRO consultation will be open from Friday 11 November 2022 until 5pm on Thursday 17 May 2023.

You can respond to the consultation online.

Take part in the consultation

Contact us

If you require urgent support, a printed survey, or information about the trial in another format including audio, braille, large print or in another language, please contact the Liveable Neighbourhoods team quoting ‘Through-traffic restriction at Church Street’.

You can contact the team by emailing, or by calling 01225 394 025

View ETRO documents

ETRO documentation consists of 3 documents:

  • A summary of the proposed Order
  • A report which shows the decisions behind the Order
  • A notice and mapping, showing where the Order will apply, and the legal wording (the notice will include blanks for dates and signatories, which will be completed if the Order is approved and implemented)
These are legal documents which have to follow a standard wording and format. You may find the summary of the proposals and the map above are a clearer and simpler way to understand the details of what we are proposing.

To find out more about ETROs you can expand the sections below

Why we have TROs and ETROs

Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) and Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (ETROs) are the legal documents that restrict or prohibit use of the highway network. They help manage the highway network for all road users, including pedestrians, and they aim to improve road safety and access to facilities.

We can use permanent or temporary TROs and ETROs to manage on-street parking, to ensure that this is fair to all road users, and the way that we control and enforce regulations is transparent.

For permanent changes to traffic regulation, we generally only introduce a TRO or ETRO following a period of research, consultation and discussion of proposals, leading to a decision. We invite members of the public, experts, and councillors to contribute to that discussion, and our Director of Place Management makes the final decision.

How we consult on and implement TROs

The TRO is issued when we are preparing to implement regulations. We are legally obliged to advertise all TROs and give the public an opportunity to state their support or objection to them. These comments will be publicly available after the TRO consultation.

The final decision to implement new regulations will be made after the TRO consultation. Once a TRO is sealed, or becomes official council policy, we publish it permanently on our website. It then normally takes a short period for the new regulations to come into force.

View TROs currently in force on a map

What happens next

Following the 6-month consultation, we will consider all feedback before we decide whether to permanently adopt the scheme.

During the consultation, we will also be talking with residents about parking provision at some of the narrowest points on Church Street, which can affect access for larger vehicles.

We will publish the outcome on this website and write to local residents.

View the project timeline


During one week in October 2022 (before the trial), we monitored walking, cycling and vehicular traffic levels on roads around Church Street. Please note that this is raw data.

View the data from October 2022

Before the end of the ETRO period, we will do the same exercise to understand how traffic flows have changed. We will compare and interpret both sets of data at the end of the ETRO consultation when both sets of data are available.

We will publish the final monitoring results on our website, and these will inform any decision to permanently adopt the scheme.