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Milsom Street: Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) consultation

Introduction and policy background

The wider council policy context

Our Corporate Strategy sets out what we as a council plan to do, how we plan to do it, and how we will measure our performance. Our main aim is to improve people's lives, and so we are following two core policies in order to do this: tackling the climate and ecological emergency, and giving people a bigger say. This consultation and the policies it concerns addresses both.

One way we aim to tackle the climate and ecological emergency is by reducing carbon emissions from road traffic through encouraging a shift from personal car use to public transport and active travel.

The measures set out in this consultation are designed to promote public transport and meet traffic management needs, making our roads safer for pedestrians, cyclists and users of other modes of active travel, as well as improving air quality. We expect these measures to significantly reduce the level of vehicle emissions which drive climate change, by encouraging more people to switch to public transport.

We also want to give you, our residents, a bigger say about the things that affect you. Responding to this consultation will give you the opportunity to have your say. 

Travel and transport policy

Air quality, managing traffic flows and availability of parking are all significant issues in our region, particularly in the city of Bath. We have a number of ongoing projects which are addressing these issues, including the following:

  • Promoting a major shift to mass transport, walking and cycling, with incentives to reduce the use of more polluting vehicles, in accordance with the UK government's National Air Quality Strategy
  • Introducing a Clean Air Zone in central Bath, to encourage less polluting ways of travelling around the city
  • Improving the safety of cyclists and pedestrians through active travel schemes which rebalance priorities on our roads and build on social distancing needs
  • Co-ordinating and consulting on our Transport Delivery Action Plan for Bath

Background to this scheme

In June 2020, we introduced a bus gate restriction on Milsom Street, operating daily between 10am and 6pm, in order to temporarily assist public transport during the pandemic, and to aid social distancing for pedestrians by reducing the volume of traffic using the road.

As social distancing ends, we are proposing a further 6 month trial of this temporary restriction to assess its impact and collect feedback before making a decision on whether the bus gate should become a permanent restriction. 

To implement this trial, the temporary traffic regulation orders (TTROs) that were originally implemented for social distancing will need to be replaced with Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (ETROs). This will allow a 6 month trial of the scheme, giving us extra time to gather data and feedback before we consider whether to make this a permanent restriction.