Traffic management

We are pleased to announce that, after over 20 years of effort by CARA and its members, B&NES Council introduced a bus restriction (including coaches) in The Circus area on May 2nd 2019. New signage at the end of Gay Street, Bennett Street, Rivers Street, Gloucester Street, Upper Church Street and Crescent Lane limits access to ‘authorised buses’ only. The only permitted coaches within the area will be those accessing the Assembly Rooms for events/tours. Also, as the red hop-on hop-off tour buses are a regulated bus service (as well as for tourists) there is little we can do about their presence.

For further details, please visit: https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/streets-and-highway-maintenance/highwayimprovements-traffic-management/traffic-regulati-11.

We are hopeful that this coach restriction will improve the environment for local residents. However, as a traffic regulation order, much will depend on enforcement (a police matter). Whilst we shall work to ensure that coach firms are advised of the ban so that they can amend their routes accordingly, we may see coaches particularly in the early stages of the ban. If you do see one, please note the coach company name and the date and forward same to Richard Brown at mailbox@rbrown.co.uk. We shall take the matter forward.

CARA’s work on traffic management has been a multi-year effort by many committee members, past and present. We thank all who have played a part; without their contribution, we could not have achieved the coach ban, which (as I am sure you have noticed) has already made a significant difference to our lives.

Air pollution

B&NES Council will be introducing a ‘Class C’ Clean Air Zone in 2020. This is to meet the requirement for the Council to achieve compliance with Nitrogen Dioxide limits ‘in the shortest possible time’ and by 2021 at the latest. This ‘Class C’ Clean Air Zone will charge drivers of all higher emission vehicles, except cars, to drive in the zone.

Charges are as follows:
£100/day for higher emission buses, coaches and HGVs
£9/day for higher emission LGVs/vans, private hire vehicles and taxis

Unlike the original intent by the Council to charge drivers of higher emission cars – called a Class D zone - there will be no charge on higher emission cars. However, to ensure that the lower part of Gay Street, a high pollution area, does see improvement in air quality, the Council will install new traffic lights at the other junctions on Queen Square. This is designed to delay traffic in this area and incentivize drivers to use other routes.

Please note that all of the CARA area will fall within the clean air zone.