Keeping our streets and spaces safe and secure from the threat of terrorism is an important part of our role as your local council. Since 2016, we have worked closely with Avon & Somerset Police and Counter Terrorism Security Advisors on protection work designed to improve overall public safety and strengthen protection in areas of high footfall.
The partnership has also provided a network of security, including local and national intelligence, city centre CCTV monitoring, staff and steward training and regular deployments of Avon & Somerset Police’s Project Servator teams.
In 2020, we put forward a proposal to introduce permanent security measures in Bath City Centre. The aim was to achieve a viable balance between the need for security to reduce the risk of vehicle-borne terrorist attacks, and the needs of local residents, businesses and service providers for vehicle access to the inner city area.
The consultation proposal outlined the following steps to manage Bath's City Centre security:
- Enforcing vehicle access restrictions 24 hours a day and 7 days a week within the most crowded streets
- Secure vehicle access points which are controlled and operated by our CCTV control room
- New purpose-designed street furniture, to prevent vehicles being driven into restricted areas
Our research and decisions so far
The initial public consultation ran from 16 November 2020 to 31 January 2021. We communicated the proposals to all residents and businesses within the boundary of the restricted area, as well as inviting responses from the general public.
An Accessibility Study was also carried out by an independent consultant from the National Register of Access Consultants to consider the impacts on people living with various disabilities, including those with additional mobility needs.
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 the following:
- Recommendations on next steps for the proposed scheme
- The feedback report from the public consultation
- Additional public comments received
- The Accessibility Study
At this meeting, Cabinet decided to progress to the next stage of the project. View the Cabinet report on this decision.
To implement or enforce parking restrictions of any kind on a public road, we need to introduce a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO). In this case we will be using a combination of Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) and Traffic Regulation Orders for anti-terrorism purposes.
The basis of the amended plans
We are now consulting on permanent TROs. These are 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.
How we implement Traffic Regulation Orders
The TROs are legal documents that give our CCTV Team and Enforcement Officers the necessary powers to restrict access, and control parking, within the required streets. There is a legal process we must follow to put these Orders into action. We do this in the following ways:
- Council Cabinet decision
Your local Ward Members, B&NES Cabinet Members for Transport and the Police comment on the TROs. (This has been done, and we can move onto the next stage.)
- Public consultation (this process)
There is a legal process to follow for implementing a TRO, which includes a 21-day public consultation, where you have a last opportunity to comment on the final proposed plan included within the TRO. You will be able to state whether you support or object to the TRO, and to give your reasons for any objections.
- Publicising the TROs
We will advertise the TROs in local newspapers and on-street notices. We will also be writing to Blue Badge holders in B&NES, residences in the permanently restricted area and to anyone who used our City Centre Security mailbox to lodge an email comment in the previous public consultation.
- Consultation report
We will publish all comments we receive during these consultations in a publicly available report.
- Final decision
Our Director of Place Management then makes the final informed decision about implementing the scheme, based on this report.
The public consultation on the TROs starts on 23 September and runs for a period of 21 days. The closing date for comments is 14 October.
Information about this consultation is available on request in other languages, audio, Braille, large print or other formats. If you don't have internet access, you can request printed copies of the consultation and survey.