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Journey to Net Zero: Reducing the environmental impact of transport in Bath

Providing for travel on bike and foot

Reducing the intrusion of vehicles, to enable a bike- and pedestrian-friendly city

Why is it important?

Travel by bike is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to move around. It contributes to both physical health and mental wellbeing, whilst also encouraging the use of community destinations and local amenities. E-bikes now also provide a great solution for cycling up some of Bath’s steeper hills, opening up new areas to explore.

The Department for Transport (DfT) published Gear Change: A Bold Vision for Cycling and Walking in July 2020, which outlines the Government’s commitment to improving provision for bike users and increasing cycling levels, making this mode of transport the natural first choice for many journeys, alongside walking. Safer streets will support more residents, in carrying out their daily activities by bike.

Bar chart showing proportion of residents cycling to work in Oxford, Exeter, Bath, York

Proportion of residents cycling to work, by comparison with similar UK cities

As part of our consultation in early 2021, more than half of respondents considered it to be important to support and enable bike users, with the most supported concepts being segregated routes into and within the city.

Nearly all journeys start and end with walking, meaning that the needs of pedestrians must be considered as a priority across the whole journey, starting from home. Once the car has been left at home, other car journeys become much less likely.

Walking has no environmental impact, is free and takes up the smallest amount of road space of all modes. It also benefits the physical and mental health of the individual.

A better-designed, safer, cleaner and more accessible pedestrian environment will make walking the preferred mode of transport for short journeys, around what is a relatively compact city. This will reduce pressure on public transport, and the need to use a vehicle.

In the 2014 Getting Around Bath Transport Strategy , we set out our ambition to make Bath the ‘most walkable city’ in the UK, with 85% of respondents to that Strategy’s consultation supporting this objective.

This is demonstrated by the high proportion of Bath residents who walk to work, by comparison with similar UK cities.

Bar chart showing proportion of residents walking to work in Oxford, Exeter, Bath, York

Proportion of residents walking to work in Bath, by comparison with similar UK cities

As part of the public consultation in early 2021, just over half of respondents considered improving pedestrian movement to be important, with all proposed concepts being strongly supported.

What are we doing about it?

Current projects

These projects have been implemented, are in development, or are in progress:

Future projects

We are looking to deliver these projects in the future: