Chelsea Road Project

 This page has now been superseded by this information on the project.

Making Chelsea Road Local Centre Thrive

Chelsea Road 

Executive summary


The aim of this project is to promote and enhance walking and other non-car access to Chelsea Road – a local centre with a variety of shops and other services.


Chelsea Road in the Lower Weston area of Bath is a local high street serving a dense residential community. Nearly a quarter of households within walking distance have no car.


Transition Bath believes that local high streets are an important heart for the local community and it is important to encourage them to thrive:

They provide a community hub and sense of community

Local shops help to support the local economy

Food miles are cut

Travel miles for getting to the shops are cut

Public health is improved by more people walking and cycling

People who cannot drive have access to shops and services within walking distance

Better for the environment than driving to out-of-town shopping centres

Social cohesion

Opportunity of independent retailers and services

Freedom for children to access shops independently 


To understand the area around Chelsea Road we surveyed all the residents living within a 10- minute walk of Chelsea Road to find out their views on how they use and how to improve the high street. We also talked to many of the traders. Both surveys got a great level of response. We followed the surveys up with public meetings. 


Top issues raised were:

  • The amount of traffic using the road
  • The speed of traffic
  • The narrow pavements on Chelsea Road and some of the surrounding streets
  • Lack of safe crossings
  • Lack of greenery and visual identity in Chelsea Road
  • Greater parking enforcement required
  • Lack of cycle racks
  • Access difficulties for people with low mobility
  • Good variety of shops, but some options lacking


A number of potential solutions to this have been identified. This report calls for:

  • A slower speed limit for the street
  • Wider pavements
  • More designated pedestrian crossings
  • A street re-design to put pedestrians first and cars second
  • Improved walking and cycling links to Chelsea Road
  • More cycle provision
  • Solutions for those with low mobility
  • Help to encourage new businesses to the area


This report shows that Chelsea Road is a key part of the Lower Weston community and both local residents and traders want it to continue to thrive. All groups agreed on clear actions that would improve the street.


We want to set up a design group so that local residents and traders can work with the government, Bath and North East Somerset Council, public transport providers and other community groups to transform Chelsea Road.


Over the coming years we want to see:

  • A re-design of Chelsea Road which serves to slow down traffic and to put pedestrians at 
the heart of the street – not cars
  • Creation of a distinct visual identity for Chelsea Road
  • Provision of benches on Chelsea Road and access routes
  • Improvements to the junctions at either end to make crossing safer and easier, especially 
for children
  • More designated pedestrian crossings on access routes
  • An increase in space for pedestrians on the street
  • More greenery
  • A significant increase in cycle parking
  • New walking and cycling signage to Chelsea Road from across Lower Weston and the 
national cycle route NCR 6 along the river path
  • A safe walking and cycling network to Chelsea Road, including safe cycle lanes on the 
A4 (Upper Bristol Road / Newbridge Road), Newbridge Hill and Coombe Park
  • A butcher, fishmonger and pharmacy for the street
  • New bus stops and timetables at either end of the street, making it easier to access by 
public transport
  • A local shop-mobility or delivery scheme
  • A car club space
  • Dedicated disabled parking space
  • Better access to green space and play areas


We hope that this project can be used as a “test case” and the findings applied to other local centres, both within Bath and elsewhere.