For Bath to maintain its status as a vibrant city with a strong economic footprint, it is essential for the city to be resilient and capable of adapting to changes in transport and mobility.
Through more efficient use of road space, we can create better-connected, healthier and more sustainable communities. Public areas become desirable destinations, not just thoroughfares, easily accessible by sustainable modes of transport, making more vibrant and liveable places, where people will want to spend leisure time, and increase their leisure and hospitality spending.
Progress so far
Love Milsom Street took place during September 2019, and saw this central shopping street closed to all vehicles for a weekend. The closure gave businesses increased footfall, as well as the opportunity to offer pop-up trading stalls and extra seating on the street. Replacing motor access with active travel and an improved public realm can increase sales revenue for local businesses and provides a positive stimulus to the regional economy.
Advances in digitisation, and the emergence of new technologies and business models, present opportunities to enable safer and more environmentally friendly deliveries. In turn, this will create more attractive and better-connected public spaces, which will boost inward investment and create a profitable environment for businesses based in Bath.
Within Bath, there is a need to accommodate servicing and deliveries for local businesses in order to support the local economy. However, we need to balance this with the desire to provide a safe and attractive environment within the city centre.
The impact of tourism
The natural beauty of Bath’s landscape setting, the elegance of its Georgian architecture, and its unique history all continue to attract visitors - averaging over six million a year, and bringing nearly half a billion pounds into the local economy.
However, the volume of visitors travelling into Bath, often by coach, has major impacts, such as damaging ancient roads and structures, adding to traffic congestion, and worsening air quality. Your employees may face issues getting to work, due to busy roads and traffic delays, and the impact of poor air quality affects both your staff and customers. We are seeking ways to enable more sustainable transport choices for your employees, and for those who visit and use your business, whether they are Bath residents, or come from further afield.
Balancing economy and environment
Bath’s businesses and residents rely on the efficient movement of goods in and out of the city. However, we can and must manage this in a way which is not detrimental to people’s quality of life or the urban environment.
Around half of respondents considered it important to have fewer Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), with reducing road freight in the city centre and implementation of zero emission last mile delivery services being the most supported concepts.
We will support and enable regional economic growth.
- We will still enjoy the significant economic benefits brought by tourists arriving by coach, but the coaches themselves will not intrude upon the city’s environment or into the lives of its residents.
- Our projects will help to deliver safer, greener and more efficient ways of travelling around the city, making travel a more attractive prospect.
- Reduced traffic in the city centre will allow the creation of safe and attractive outside space for walking, shopping and socialising.
- Improved outside space will lead to increased footfall and revenue, as people are more likely to want to linger in commercial areas.
- Safer and more convenient road crossings will benefit both your staff and customers, making it easier to access your business.
- A rail freight facility would remove a significant number of heavy goods vehicles from road corridors into the city, providing space for other modes including public transport, walking and cycling.
- Consolidation centres will reduce the need for heavy goods vehicles to enter the city when the delivery could be undertaken by a smaller light goods vehicle or e-cargo bike instead, improving road conditions and air quality, and reducing the cost of deliveries.
- E-cargo bikes and other zero emission last mile delivery services will provide easy access to the city centre and other hard-to-reach areas.
- Through working with businesses, better timed and managed city centre deliveries will ensure that freight movements do not worsen congestion at busy times and will make for more efficient deliveries, to benefit hauliers and delivery recipients.
Walking and cycling options within Bath
- Bath has the potential for a significant proportion of trips on foot and by bike and by scooter within the city, making journeys to key destinations safer, more convenient and more comfortable for all.
- Improved transport infrastructure will separate pedestrians, bike and scooter users from motorised vehicles, allowing safer travel on the same routes by reducing the potential for conflict, and reducing the fear and intimidation caused by large vehicles.
- Connecting Bath will be connected into a fully signposted network of safe cycle routes across the city that are largely separated from other traffic, and link the places people live with work, leisure, shopping and education destinations.
- Safe, convenient and direct cycle routes from the surrounding areas will offer access to Bath’s facilities for those living outside the city.
- Secure cycle storage at key destinations across the city, will allow you to park your bike with confidence.
- Opportunities to share, buy and lease bikes and e-bikes, supported by financial measures (where practical), will make cycling accessible for more people.
Rural connections for those outside of Bath
- Mobility hubs and express bus routes along the main roads from rural communities and market towns will provide quick journeys into Bath.
- The facilities at the mobility hubs will provide and promote interchange between different modes of travel, allowing more people to cycle and walk to fast, direct and convenient onward bus services into Bath.
- Demand-responsive bus services will complement the express bus routes and transport hubs, by providing for those in smaller communities that are not within walking and cycling distance of transport links.
- Improved links and facilities to access the existing cycle network will enable trips by bike into Bath and to other key destinations.
- Local work hubs will offer the workforce greater flexibility in where they work, reducing the need for commuter journeys into Bath, saving both time and money.
Find out more
To learn more about parts of the plan which will benefit you in particular, you may want to explore the following sections.
- Creating improved spaces to live and work
- Providing for travel by bike and on foot
- Better public transport options
- Connecting Bath to rural communities
- Supporting future mobility
- Traffic cells
- Liveable Neighbourhoods - Next Generation
- Bath Clean Air Zone and Air Quality Management Area reviews
- Demand management
- Coach strategy
- Rail freight distribution site
- Road freight package
- Promotion and investment in travel by bike
- Improvements to the pedestrian experience
- Bath mass transit
- Inter-urban sustainable transport links
- Rural connectivity