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Combe Down to University of Bath: Copseland

Our experts discuss the plans

On 4 March, we held a webinar and public online meeting about all of the schemes currently under consultation. During the hour-long discussion, councillors and senior staff responsible for transport, sustainability, public health and managing the climate emergency explained our plans in further detail and answered questions from the public. 

Watch the webinar online

A large number of questions were submitted by members of the public, and we weren't able to discuss all of them in the webinar itself. Select an item below to see answers from a member of our team.

What will the council be doing to compensate people for the loss in value of their homes due to the loss of parking on the road?

There is no right to park on a public road and we are not in a position to compensate for any loss of parking near people’s homes. Where parking would need to be removed as part of proposals for new cycle lanes, we have tried to replace as much of that parking in other roads as possible. This has been achieved through an assessment of existing yellow line parking restrictions and removing certain sections where they have been deemed to be unnecessary. We are also proposing to change the guest house and hotel permit scheme which would result in their guests having to use Charlotte Street car park in future, which will free up on-street space for resident permit holders. There are no proposals to remove parking in North Road.

Plans showing proposals for parking affected by the Upper Bristol Road scheme and the Beckford Road scheme can be found on our website.


What consideration is being given to prioritising non-motorised users at the bottom end of North Road in crossing the A36?

The proposals for Beckford Road include a new Advance Stop Line at the traffic signals which will assist cyclists in making a right turn into North Road. If the North Road and Beckford Road scheme goes ahead we will investigate and design a new layout for this junction to make it better for cyclists and pedestrians. This will require a significant change to how the junction currently operates. The cost of this and the time it would take to design such a scheme is outside the scope of government funding we have applied to. Providing improved roads for cyclists and pedestrians will have to be undertaken in phases due to the cost and complexities, but we are committed to providing a joined-up network.

How will the bus gate work on North Road?

We are consulting on two options for a possible bus gate. It could apply to one direction only and if this were to happen it would restrict traffic heading uphill towards the university. That would mean only buses and taxis could pass through the bus gate heading uphill, but any vehicle could pass through it coming downhill, towards Warminster Road. Reducing the amount of traffic heading uphill gives a significant benefit to cyclists. The alternative option is for the bus gate to restrict traffic in both directions. This would stop all through traffic in both directions except buses and taxis which would bring about the greatest level of traffic reduction, thereby making the route better for cyclists, but would bring more inconvenience for residents.

Do the proposals include cycle lanes on North Road which are separate from the road? If so, will they be in both directions?

The proposals do not include cycle lanes on North Road because it is not wide enough to accommodate them. The latest standards for cycle infrastructure (2020) recommends that painted cycle lanes should only be used in very short lengths and that instead cycle lanes should be separated from motor traffic. Since this is not possible in North Road, the alternative method for making the road more suitable for cyclists is to reduce the amount of traffic using it, and that is the objective behind the bus gate proposal.


Were other improvements to cycling routes considered instead of the proposal for Upper Bristol Road?

The Department for Transport encouraged local authorities to use the Rapid Cycleway Prioritisation Tool to identify potential routes for introducing new cycle infrastructure. This tool, developed by the University of Leeds for the Department for Transport and Sustrans, identified Upper Bristol Road has being one of the top routes in the West of England for encouraging more journeys to be taken for cycling, if good quality cycle infrastructure is implemented. The route has also been identified within the West of England’s Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan, which includes high priority routes for development. < /p> Although we are planning improvements for many other walking and cycling routes across the district, the funding available and timescales for implementing the schemes under the Active Travel Fund limit what we can deliver under this initiative.


Will the cycle lanes in Upper Bristol Road still be demarcated as now? The orcas and bollards are not popular with cyclists or motorists and can cause accidents. Have you taken advice from those countries where cycle lanes are more the ‘norm’, say Holland, where there is just a strip of different coloured tarmac demarcating the lane?

We would use a different product to separate the cycle lane from motor traffic compared to the ones in use now and the current ones would be replaced. The cycle lanes which are protected by the separators will not have a coloured surface, but where the cycle lanes run in front of side roads and busier private accesses, we would use a coloured surface.


We have used the latest national design guidance for our proposals, Local Transport Note 1/20.


Since the right turn lanes in Upper Bristol Road would be removed under the proposals does that mean those turnings are banned?

No, the proposals do not include banning any turns to or from Upper Bristol Road.


How can we unload our car with shopping or receive deliveries to our house on Upper Bristol Road?

Although the proposed cycle lanes require the removal of the parking bays and single yellow line restrictions, stopping to load or unload will still be permitted except for a few hours of the day when traffic is at its busiest. The restriction on loading is proposed to apply 8am – 9am and 4.30pm – 6pm, Monday to Friday.


What evidence does the council have that sufficient people will use the new cycle routes to justify the expense and disruption caused to residents?

The government has set a clear policy agenda to promote walking and cycling. Experience from other schemes from across the UK demonstrates a huge latent demand for cycling. It’s not possible to estimate with any degree of certainty how many more people will use a road if measures to promote cycling are provided, but we know from national surveys and research that feeling safe is a major factor that affects whether people choose to cycle.