- Residents of Batheaston, Bathampton & Bath City
- United Kingdom
Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) want to build a car park on historic Bathampton Meadows in the belief that this will reduce congestion in Bath. You may have seen BANES’ promotional leaflet for the Park and Ride East Scheme. You may have read how the provision of a Park and Ride will be key to reducing congestion in Bath, now and in the future. You may have seen the misleading artist impression of the scheme that wants you to believe that the car park will actually contain more trees than cars. You may be questioning how a Park and Ride will actually make any difference.
Why Oppose the Park and Ride Scheme?
Don’t oppose the scheme just because it’s in your back yard. Consider the following and decide whether the Meadows, that have sat quietly next to the River Avon for thousands of years, need to be concreted over just because the current Local Authority appears to have little idea of what it is doing. Below are ten reasons to oppose the scheme. There are plenty more.
1. Do you remember the difference that the existing P&R sites made to congestion in Bath when they opened? No? That’s because for every car using the Park and Ride facility, another car takes its place on the road. Transport Planners call it ‘suppressed demand’. The only reason there aren’t more cars on the roads in Bath is that the heavily used routes are running at full capacity. If you create some additional capacity, it is immediately filled by the surplus traffic that currently uses less desirable (longer or more time consuming) routes.
2. The London Road currently runs at full capacity. Traffic levels have not increased for around twenty years. This is because the route is saturated with traffic. The negligible capacity created by building a Park and Ride will be immediately consumed.
3. Cars currently pay (Mill Lane Toll Bridge) to avoid the London Road into Bath. If a Park and Ride does reduce congestion, the Mill Lane toll traffic is an excellent example of the traffic that will take its place.
4. A massive proportion of traffic in Bath doesn’t stop; it’s passing through the city to get to somewhere else. Obviously through-traffic will not use a Park and Ride. So Bath will still be congested. Just like it is today with the existing Park and Ride facilities in place.
5. A Park and Ride will not reduce the number of cars running to nurseries, schools and colleges. Parents take their kids to school either on the way to work or as a specific trip. School runs account for a considerable proportion of rush-hour congestion (you see the difference when schools are on holiday; suddenly getting to work is easy)
6. 6,000 new homes are to be built in Bath City. In the Council’s view, this further supports the argument for a Park and Ride. How will a Park and Ride outside the city help people who live in the city?
7. A Park and Ride will do nothing to reduce the number of lorries passing through the city.
8. National Studies demonstrate that Park and Ride schemes do not reduce urban congestion (see G.P. Parkhurst 1996, 1998). Generally, the comparatively tiny proportion of car journeys that are intercepted by a Park and Ride are replaced by suppressed demand.
9. The proposed Mill Lane site is adjacent to the Bathampton Meadows Nature Reserve. This reserve was created with the express intention of providing a haven for birds and other wildlife and creating an area of flood storage to mitigate construction of the by-pass. The site is environmentally sensitive; viewing areas are around the perimeter to avoid disturbing this important habitat. A 1,300 space car park is not a suitable neighbour.
10. The meadows provide a green space that separates Bath, Batheaston and Bathampton, preserving the character and independence of each. Lose the space and the urban sprawl will grow, consuming outlying villages.
If you oppose BANES' plans to build a Park and Ride on Bathampton Meadows, please sign this petition. Every name makes a difference and makes the growing opposition to the scheme impossible to ignore.
For more details of our campaign or to contact us, see our website: www.savebathamptonmeadows.org.uk.
The Save Bathampton Meadows petition to Residents of Batheaston, Bathampton & Bath City was written by Sharon and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.