A new video explaining how to access some restricted streets in Bath has been launched following feedback from disability groups and people with lived experience.
Bath and North East Somerset Council have introduced anti-terrorism security measures, which restrict vehicles on certain city center streets, to protect the public.
In addition to the guidance already on the council’s website, the new video explains how to access for Blue Badge holders.
Councilor Manda Rigby, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: ‘I would like to thank everyone who worked with us to produce this short informational video which complements the advice we have given on our website.
“Since the introduction of the Downtown Safety Program, more than 1,200 vehicles with disabled drivers or passengers have been accessing restricted streets under the blue badge holder exemption. The system worked smoothly and we had no complaints – except for one driver who was refused entry because he attempted to use a blue badge without the proper authorization to gain access to the area.
Alongside the film, the council has produced an online map which shows the city center restrictions, but also additional parking for the disabled, residents and loading docks outside the restricted area, as well as public seating so people can plan and visit with confidence.
Work on proportionate preventative measures to protect public safety is based on advice from police, following extensive consultation, discussions with businesses, residents and accessibility groups.
Currently, restrictions are being managed with barriers and marshals under Anti-Terrorism Traffic Control Orders to:
Lower Borough Walls, Stall Street, Abbeygate Street, Abbey Green, Swallow Street (south), Bath Street, Beau Street and Hot Bath Street;
Cheap Street, Westgate Street (including Parsonage Lane), Saw Close and Upper Borough Walls.
A tender for contractors to undertake the £1.5million program to install static and sliding bollards has been launched with the anticipation that work could start in June this year.
The tender includes work on York Street, which is the subject of a public inquiry. York Street had to be included in the tender because the council could not wait for the outcome of the investigation and incur increased costs on a separate tender if the result confirmed the ATTRO for York Street .
Council launched the public inquiry for York Street after a member of the public confirmed his objections to proposed traffic control orders for anti-terrorism purposes in York Street. The public inquiry is scheduled for April 26 at the Guildhall in Bath.
Councilor Rigby added: “We have tendered for a contractor to undertake what will be a complex job to install fixed and sliding bollards on streets which carry anti-terrorism traffic control orders. It is expected that work could start in June subject to a successful tender.
Safety proposals include vehicle access restrictions on streets defined as crowded places in and around Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths while maintaining managed access to the city center for residents, businesses and blue badge holders.
They were initially based on a counter-terrorism security survey in Bath city center in September 2016, which identified areas as vulnerable to a potential attack from hostile vehicles.
In February 2020 the Avon & Somerset Chief Constable asked Bath & North East Somerset Council to consider an ATTRO covering the wider Bath city center which would be used in the event of an increased threat, specific intelligence , following an incident or if there are events taking place that create crowded places.
Following consultations with the Counter Terrorism Security Advisors and Council, which focused on the overcrowded locations identified in the National Office of Counter Terrorism Security report, it was deemed proportionate to introduce permanent restrictions covering a smaller area of the city centre, resulting in the current measures, which the police chief has backed.
The council continued to work alongside counter-terrorism advisers to protect these areas, both through physical measures and through the training of frontline personnel, both public and private.