For details of the proposals contact:
'Trams for Bath'
88, Mount Road,
or visit the website:
The proposed tramway system would have major beneficial effects on the way the Southgate site could be developed:
1) REDUCED DEMAND FOR PARKING SPACE
The tramway has been proven as the most effective public transport mode for attracting motorists out of their cars. With an efficient reliable tram service in operation, the amount of parking space needed to serve any future city centre development will be considerably reduced.
Land already given over to parking, such as The Ambury, may be reclaimed for better commercial, leisure or open space uses.
2) REDUCED TRAFFIC AND DEMAND FOR ROAD SPACE
A tramway will reduce traffic and the demand for road space, this will allow better use to be made of existing land. It will ease planning problems arising from conflicting requirements of traffic and pedestrians and will reduce the amount of unsightly traffic management hardware in the streets. Reduced pollution will improve the environment and reduce damage to buildings and health.
3) IMPROVED ACCESSIBILITY AND LAND USE
Improved public transport will bring the shopping area within easy reach more customers, resulting in increased trade. The compatibility of tramways with pedestrian areas gives passengers safe direct access to their actual destinations. On the Southgate site, the tramway could be integrated into the pedestrian areas of the development whereas buses must be separated from these areas.
The ease of access by tramway would mean that the bus station would not need to be located as geographically near to the railway station as it is at present planned to be. It could, for instance, be combined with the Avon Street Coach Park, thus keeping buses out of the city centre but still easily linked to the railway station by the city centre circle tram route.
This would free-up the riverbank land which was to have been used for the new bus station. From the present Southgate site a new vista would be opened-up as far as the river, allowing full use to be made of that valuable asset. Riverside walks, open spaces or even a public venue such as a concert hall could derive unique benefits from such a setting if the area could be relieved of its present transport burden and attendant noise and dirt.
4) INCREASED BENEFITS FROM TOURISM
At present, tourism does not impinge much on the Southgate area. With an improved environment and better access to attractions outside the immediate city centre, visitors would be encouraged to stay longer and would spend more of their purchasing power locally.
5) ENHANCED COMMERCIAL VALUE
A tramway represents an investment in the permanent infrastructure of the city. This will improve the commercial viability of the area and enhance property and land values.
Transport problems are already beginning to impose a limit on commercial activity in the centre of Bath. To facilitate future expansion of Bath's commerce, an attractive, cheap, reliable public transport mode is essential. Trams are known to be the most cost effective solution to urban congestion because people voluntarily use them in preference to cars or buses. They are a proven way of increasing trade and commerce without the disadvantages of increased traffic, pollution, noise and congestion.
This city will, in future, be competing with major developments in Bristol, Swindon and elsewhere in the region; an integrated public transport system with a modern electric tramway at its core will be the most effective way of creating a quality environment for development of businesses in Bath for the future.
1) The Southgate site should be planned as a tramway-served traffic-free area extending as far south as the river bank. Much effort and expenditure on unnecessary parking and roads will thus be avoided from the outset.
2) The planned riverbank bus station should be a temporary construction which can later be replaced on a more appropriate site.
3) The necessary improvements in Bath's public transport should be given high priority in the development of this site so that the infrastructure is in place by the time the site is completed.
Adrian Tuddenham - Secretary: 'Trams for Bath'