CycleBath have been working on a proposal for improvements in cycling and walking infrastructure in Bath at the invite of the new cabinet member for transport, Mark Shelford.
The 60 page proposal comes up with a list of relatively low cost short and medium term ideas to improve cycling and walking in Bath. As the report points out Bath is already a very walkable city with almost 50% of residents walking or cycling to work, the 4th highest in the country after Cambridge, Your and Oxford. However, despite this Bath has a low proportion of cyclists (6%), potentially as a result of its steep hills, and a significant air pollution problem.
Included in the proposal are:
- a minimum and increasing spend on cycling and walking infrastructure
- adopting good design standards for cycle paths which are wide enough for mobility vehicles (minimum widths, painted red)
- develop a comprehensive and integrated network of cycle paths
- rationalise the ownership of paths into a single B&NES Council department (currently split between Parks, and Highways)
- Set ward level targets for modal transport splits (what proportion of each type of mode of transport is used)
- Traffic flows used in council analysis to include walking and cycling not just cars
- Reduce pedestrian crossing waits for pedestrians from up to 45 seconds down to 7 seconds
- Recognise the public health benefits (and NHS savings) of cycling (45% reduction in cancer, heart disease, dying)
- Create exclusion zones around schools to stop pupils being dropped off by car, to encourage walking and cycling (up to 50% of Bath’s traffic congestion is caused by the school run)
- Upgrading the NextBike rental scheme to electric bikes which can be better used on Bath’s steep hills
- About 30 small ‘projects’ which will improve cycling – including changes to junctions, short cycle link paths
- A series of larger ‘schemes’, including:
- secure on street bike in streets with high numbers of flats
- all public buses to include cycle racks
- Bath Living Heart (traffic restrictions in centre of town)
- ‘Scholars Way’ – a cycle network to link 13 educational establishments and 22,000 students on Bath’s southern plateau
- Keynsham to Bristol/Bath cycle path connection
- More pedestrian and cycle friendly road junction layouts
- Resurfacing the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath between Bathampton and Bradford on Avon
The proposal is also summarised and discussed in this Bath Chronicle article.