Return to Homepage

Reports and Publications by 'TRAMS for BATH'

Comments on the Halcrow Report by Trams for Bath

July 2002



Detailed comments on -
Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7



In June 2000, Bath and North East Somerset Council accepted the 'Hyder Report' entitled
" Feasibility Study of Future Public Transport Options for Bath" One of the recommendations of the report was that a further study should be undertaken into the feasibility of a tramway network to connect all parts of the city.

At the request of certain Councillors, this study requirement was broadened to take into account the need for a wider overview of the whole public transport situation in Bath. (Appendix 1) That study was set in motion and the current "Halcrow Report" is the outcome.

It is against this background that comments on the study are made by Trams for Bath.




Trams for Bath has studied the copy of the report which was available as a PDF download from the B&NES website on Thursday 11th July 2002:

Bath & North East Somerset Council
A 20 Year Vision for the Principal
Transportation Networks
Final Report
June 2002
Halcrow Group Limited


Return to top of page



Trams for Bath is very disappointed in this report. It fails to add anything useful to the previous 'Hyder' report and does a disservice to Bath & North East Somerset by repeating flawed methods and proposals which should have been superseded long ago. It also reinforces the lofty aspirations of the Local Transport Plan but without adding anything of practical value to assist in their attainment.

Many significant points have not been properly addressed at all and the report is internally inconsistent, in that some of the measures suggested will operate against to the desired outcomes.

We believe that B&NES Council may be under a legal obligation to pay for this report, but can find no compelling moral reason why it should do so.




17th July 2001



2.1 That a briefing be organised for Members to give an update on (a) rapid transit developments in the context of the Government's Ten Year Transport Plan; (b) proposals relating to Bristol; and (c) future possibilities in Bath and North East Somerset, taking into account current work on the Western Riverside regeneration plan and the revised planning application for the Southgate redevelopment scheme

2.2 That the Committee note that the timescale for preparation of the Western Riverside regeneration plan and associated public transport proposals does not allow for the submission of a full major scheme Local Transport Plan bid for this year but that a detailed programme will be included in the Annual Progress Report setting out the steps leading to the submission of a comprehensive bid in July 2002.

2.3 That officers, in consultation with spokespersons or relevant successors, commission a two-phase study to define an integrated principal public transport network for Bath and North East Somerset, the first phase to analyse existing and desirable transport movements in order to design an optimal network and the second to appraise and evaluate viability of the alternative technologies available for achieving this network over a period of ten to twenty years.

2.4 That £30,000 be made available through "over-programming" which will assist in improving further the level of agreed Capital Allocation for Transportation.

2.5 That the study objectives encompass this Council's adopted Local Agenda 21 Vision, which includes: -


"Access & Mobility for All

There will be full access to a public and community transport system. This will be efficient, non-polluting, reliable and safe. Because of greater choice, people will drive less and will be able to cycle, use wheelchairs and walk in a clean, safe environment."

2.6 That spokespersons or their relevant successors be involved at key stages of the study

2.7 That officers aim to present the results of Phase 1 of this study as early as possible but no later than January 2002.

Return to top of page


We note at the outset that the word 'Tram' is not used in this report, whereas the word 'Bus' appears at least 50 times. For a report which is dealing with the future rather than the present - and which specifically followed-on from a need to analyse a light tram network - we find this somewhat surprising. The expressions "Light Rapid Transit" and "Rapid Transit" do appear - these are generic terms referring to either buses or trams but the report makes no attempt to explain this or to further define their meaning.

The concept of a network, particularly a "Rapid Transit" network which might include a tram, is also difficult to find. There are a number of references to the desirability of such a thing, but the overall outcome of the report is a disjointed series of corridors of different modes, showing no indication of how they might be connected in practice.

We therefore conclude that, either through a failure of the brief or through a failure to follow the brief, this report does not fulfil the original objectives expressed by the B&NES PTE committee on 17th July 2001 and set out in PAPER 15 - MASS TRANSIT / TRAM NETWORK STUDY (P4 of this report).

Return to top of page


The report spends a great deal of time and effort in describing how the study was to be undertaken, to the detriment of actually undertaking the study and producing results. The current Local Transport Plan has been heavily criticised for expressing high ideals but failing to show any practical means by which they are to be achieved, this report appears to have fallen into the same trap.

Whilst reading the report, there is a continuing sense of frustration that many obviously desirable outcomes are being suggested, apparently without any awareness that a description of the means of putting them into practice is part of the duty of a consultant. As a guide to attaining these high ideals, the report is entirely devoid of any useful information.

Almost all of the information and suggestions contained in this report will be familiar to anyone who has studied the transport scenario in Bath during the past five years and there is a great deal of further information freely available which could have been made reference to, or summarised and usefully incorporated., In particular, it is noted that the report recommends the commissioning of studies which have already been undertaken.

The report reinforces the desirable objectives set out in the LTP. It then incorporates the results of many previous proposals, including some from the LTP itself, without any comment as to their value or utility in achieving these objectives.

It would be surprising if any significant changes could be made to the Local Transport Plan as a result of this report and, in its other function as a report into a light tramway network, it is of no value whatsoever.

Trams for Bath July 2002


Return to top of page



  1.2 Background
The development and adoption of appropriate transport policies within the local B&NES area has been the cause of intense public debate for over 30 years.
The Abercrombie Plan (1944) was more than 30 years ago

 The overall approach to the study is outlined in Figure 2.1......
·A top-down visioning exercise ...
·A bottom-up analysis...

Essentially these two work streams progressed in an iterative fashion until
'convergence' was achieved.

We are of the opinion that 'Convergence' was not achieved. Mismatch across a wide gulf was the actual result with no indication of the means by which the ends were to be achieved
 4. ...
From these outputs, it was then possible to identify those types of transport
interventions, which would need to be implemented by B&NES Council over and above those already set out in the Local Transport Plan. This includes measures for the current 5-year programme and in subsequent periods over the coming 20 years.
This is the crux of the matter and the reason this report was undertaken, but no significant changes to the LTP have in fact been suggested.

 3.3 ....
During the session the following themes emerged:

·The importance of the quality and distribution of employment in Bath and the rest of B&NES, and the desire to develop the tourist industry;

·The need for social inclusion in transport provision, especially outside Bath;

·Retaining and enhancing a world class environment.

None of these issues has been properly addressed by this report.

None of the transport measures recommended by the report has the potential to significantly influence any of these factors.

 Return to top of page  

 4 A Vision for Transport
4.1 Introduction
This section describes the development of a Transport Vision for B&NES based
on the principles of the over-arching objectives described in the previous section.
In some senses it could be described as 'Utopian' in that it describes a very high
quality, almost ideal state of transport...

It is recognised that in the 'real world' that such a high level of vision is very difficult to achieve

There are many cities throughout Europe which approach this ideal, nearly all of them have a public transport system based on an electric tram network. Unfortunately this report does not mention them or the way in which they achieve these objectives.
 ... later sections describe the problems and conflicts associated with this Vision and how a practical transport strategy could be developed from it. 4.1
Unfortunately no practical strategy is included in this report
 4.2.2 Principal Features of Transport Vision
With the Transport Vision in place, the transport networks would efficiently serve the local economy allowing it to grow and prosper without being significantly affected by traffic congestion. Links to the national and international transport network would facilitate the movement of public transport, goods and private vehicles, and would provide for the travel needs of the workforce, visitors and tourists.
This would be the situation with a tramway network in place, it is unlikely to ever be achieved with a bus-based system, regardless of whether it is called "Rapid Transit" or not.

Return to top of page

4.3.1 Vision Development ­ Environment



  a) Noise   High noise generation   Low noise generation
 (b) Local Air Quality  Emissions of SO2 & particulates  No local emissions
 c) Greenhouse Gases  CO2 produced during manufacture and use of fuel  Least CO2 production of any public transport mode
 (d) Landscape  Detrimental to landscape  Integrates well in landscape
 (e) Townscape  Vehicles and infrastructure detrimental to townscape  Vehicles and infrastructure much less detrimental to townscape
 (f) Heritage of Historic Resources  Uncontrolled damage to stonework and under-road cellars  Minor controlled damage from wire fixings. Reduced pollution and car use.
 (g) Biodiversity  No effect  No effect
 (h) Water  No effect  No effect
 (i) Physical Fitness  Enforces walking by discouraging use of public transport  Encourages short walks by reducing car-dependence
 (j) Journey Ambience  Very poor  Excellent

Return to top of page

4.3.2 Vision Development ­ Safety



 (a) Accidents  Steerable vehicle with unpredictable pathway.
Subject to general road traffic rules and driver training.
 Guided vehicle with pathway clearly marked and followed.
Subject to rigorous HSE inspection and stringent driver training and re-training.
 (b) Security  Communication between control centre and drivers / passengers / intending passengers can be provided as expensive 'extras'.  Communication between control centre and drivers / passengers / intending passengers all provided as part of the system planning.(under-road ducts form a necessary part of tramway infrastructure)

Return to top of page      

4.3.3 Vision Development ­ Economy



 (a) Transport Economic Efficiency  Low initial costs with little economy of scale ­ leads to low user takeup at high fares with 'captive' user-base.
High vehicle occupancy needed for economic operation which leads to infrequent service and reduced economic operating hours.
Heavy subsidy needed for socially desirable service.
Extra vehicles needed to cope with peak periods.
Cost of infrastructure not borne by operating companies.
 High initial cost because track is charged to the project, not to the Local Authority.
Expensive vehicles but cheap to run over a 50-year lifespan.
Large economies of scale lead to cheap fares and high passenger numbers. Economic operation with fewer passengers allows long operating hours without the need for a subsidy.
High ratio of standing to seated passengers allows 'crush-loading' to cope with peak periods and special events without extra vehicles.
 (b) Reliability

 Notorious unreliability which does not seem to improve, even under considerable pressure to do so.

Very poor percieved reliability. Passenger information systems expensive to provide and difficult to implement

 High levels of built-in reliability by avoidance of traffic pinch-points during the design phase, emergency manning arrangements and provision of standby vehicles during operation.

Very high percieved reliability, assisted by real-time passenger information built into all tram stops

  (c) Wider Economic Impacts

  Little or no beneficial economic effect from improved bus services.

Any effects localised and short-term

  Far-reaching long-term beneficial economic effects on:
Property values
Brownfield redevelopment

Widespread effects due to enhancement of other associated public transport modes

Return to top of page   

4.3.4 Vision Development - Accessibility



 ((a) Option Values  Not relevant  Not relevant
 (b) Severance  Roads used by buses often have a severe severance effect; not just due to the buses themselves but because other traffic can share the road space.
Guided busways have an even greater severance effect and form a complete longitudinal barrier to pedestrians and all other traffic.
 Tramways have a clearly marked-out path which allows
them to be integrated into pedestrian areas without danger. Their severance potential is very low and the tracks can be easily made inaccessible to other vehicles where required.
 (c) Access to the Transport System

 Although bus stops are often closely-spaced, access is generally poor in practice due to infrequent or unreliable services.

Access for disabled persons is poor because the vehicles cannot be driven accurately enough to give reliable level gap-free boarding at every stop. Bus stops are often blocked by parked vehicles.

 Tram stops tend to be more widely spaced but their psychological catchment area is larger than for a bus(1) and their reliable service frequency tends to be higher.. Tram journeys tend to be faster than the equivalent bus journey because of faster acceleration and shorter loading times.

All tram stops give 100% stepless and gapless boarding for disabled passengers

     (1) The catchment radius for a bus stop is in the order of 500 metres whereas for a tram stop it is 600 metres. This gives a tram stop a 44% greater catchment area

Return to top of page   

4.3.5 Vision Development ­ Integration



 (a) Transport Interchange  Currently bus services are very poorly integrated. Attempts to achieve integration are limited by the physical constraints of steerable vehicles and the need to distrubute bus stops to avoid accidents and local congestion
The bus-based proposals shown in the report do not integrate in any way whatsoever. No practical scheme for integration has been put forward
 Currently bus services are very poorly integrated. Attempts to achieve integration are limited by the physical constraints of steerable vehicles and the need to distrubute bus stops to avoid accidents and local congestion
The bus-based proposals shown in the report do not integrate in any way whatsoever. No practical scheme for integration has been put forward
 (b) Land-Use Policy    

Return to top of page



  5.2.1 ...
Section 4 calls for greatly improved real
mobility with a reduction of the impact that transportation has on the
environment. In practical terms, this can only be achieved through the provision
of significantly improved public transport and a reduction in the dependence on
the private motor car.
Reduction on car dependence can only be effective if a realistic alternative is available, otherwise it merely become an exercise in oppression.
 Achieving this outcome in a practical manner is at the root of the transport strategy that is described in this section.  A practical way to achieve that outcome is not described.

 5.2.3 Public Transport ­ the quality challenge

The prime form of public transport in B&NES is bus. But it only currently
accounts for less than 10% of trips made in the area. Of even greater concern is
the fact that the vast majority of bus users are captive, that is they do not have a
car available for their journey.

Bus users will always be those with no choice because the bus does not benefit from economies of scale
For a detailed explanation see:

The only way buses will be made to attract a wider cross-section of the public is by means of continuous heavy subsidies.

 5.2.4 Modal Shift
The issues discussed so far lead to the obvious and inescapable conclusion that thecornerstone of any strategy designed to create the Transport Vision should be to achieve a significant transfer of mode choice away from use of the private car to the use of public transport ...

We agree wholeheartedly with this. The transfer of mode must be achieved through choice, it will not be achieved through enforcement.

It is important that the optimum mode for promoting shift away from car use is identified at an early stage. Table 1 (P12) shows the relative increase or decrease in public transport use according to the choice of mode available

 ... reduced congestion would allow the public transport system to deliver fast and reliable journeys,  improved segregation of modes could achieve this to a sufficient extent to break the vicious circle. A properly planned tramway system would allow faster public transport even before congestion began to reduce.

Return to top of page

Return to top of page




 5.2.4 ...
The analysis reveals that a reduction in car mode share of between 10% and 30% depending on corridors would be required to reduce congestion levels below those experienced today. This represents a very significant increase in public transport usage; on many corridors more than doubling existing public transport patronage, this itself, requiring a significant increase in the number of buses and associated resources / staff.

We feel that the report does not fully convey the magnitude of the increase in bus passenger journeys which would be needed to achieve a 30% reduction in car use.

The table below show the effect per 100 passenger journeys:

  Bus Car
 Present  10 90
 30% shift +27 -27
 Result  37   63

From this we can conclude that 30% reduction in car use car will give at least a 270% increase in bus passenger journeys.

We do not feel this is commensurate with the environmental aspirations raised elsewhere in the report.

 5.2.5 ...
However, there is no reason why ... the current linkage between economic growth and traffic growth [should not] be reduced
If there is a satisfactory way of reducing that linkage, why does this report not put it forward or at least give a reference to it.

 5.2.8 Bath Western Riverside
The Bath Western Riverside development (BWRD) presents an ideal opportunity to demonstrate the full range of the Transport Vision. It is intended that the development be substantially car free with a focus instead on quality public
transport links and provisions for cyclists and pedestrians. At the same time environmental quality will be of a very high standard. ...
The development will be a strong display of the benefits that can be achieved through the Vision.

The Western Riverside plans have been the subject of public consultation during the time it has taken to prepare this report. There was an attempt to remove transport from the consultation agenda pending publication of this report and the W. Riverside process has been held up many months, awaiting this paragraph.

Despite the attempted embargo on discussing transport, there was overwhelming public support for "Rapid Transit" through the W. Riverside site. Furthermore, a clear need was identified for this transit system to link this site with the rest of Bath, not just to become an isolated corridor.

 5.3.2 Improvement of Public Transport
This means vehicles and
services designed with all sectors of the community in mind, with routing and frequencies that serve the main travel demands effectively with reliable services, comfortable vehicles, excellent passenger information and affordable fares.
Minimum guaranteed levels of service and accessibility will need to be defined and adhered to, for all parts of B&NES based on location types and trip purpose.
Of particular importance is the need to provide public transport services that can be accessed by all members of society including those with special needs, people with disabilities, parents with small children and those carrying luggage and shopping.
This is the absolute minimum that will bring public transport up to a level where some car drivers may consider switching mode.....
 5.3.2 ...
Buses will remain the backbone of public transport for the area...
 ... and this is a guaranteed way to ensure that it is never properly achieved.
 Return to top of page  

  5.3.2 ...
...but on major
corridors in Bath it is recommended that some form of mass rapid transit be provided . This would include all the links between...

The precise form of this public transport system will need to be examined in further studies.

The mode used for "Mass Rapid Transit" is critical. Different modes will give different advantages and disadvantages. They cannot all be regarded as the same thing.
The routes cannot be chosen until the mode has been established and fixed.

Rapid transit corridors in isolation will be useless in Bath as there is not sufficient demand to justify each one. Connected together to form a network with a well-thought-out interchange system they then become economically viable.

This was supposed to be the study which did examine the precise form of the public transport system. It was broadened to include other factors and the original requirement now remains unfulfilled.

 5.3.2 ...
A natural concomitant of the more focused support of public transport is the need for a form of Passenger Transport Authority and Passenger Transport Executive for the ex-Avon sub-region. B&NES should support the formation of such an authority, as this is the most promising way of providing integrated high quality public transport within, and to and from, the area.
We entirely agree that a PTE / PTA is long overdue.

 5.3.3 Management of Road Space

...It is important to protect public transport from the effects of congestion, and
policies are required ... in favour of public transport and promote the use of slow modes.

The use of some slow modes could add to congestion because more vehicles would be required for a given passenger throughput.
Slowness is not a virtue in itself, the virtue is the safety which results from it. (A bicycle is a 'slow mode' of transport, but it is dangerous if ridden at high speed into a group of pedestrians)
 5.3.5 Other Mode Shift Measures
One element of the strategy is that Bath may ultimately have to introduce workplace parking charges or congestion charging as a means of restraining the use of private cars
If a need to suppress parking is proven, there is a case for saying that on-street residential parking should be removed in preference to destination parking. This will clear the way for public transport and reduce the amount of inner-city traffic circulating around looking for parking places. As far as we are aware, the relative merits of these two stratagem have not previously been examined by B&NES
 Return to top of page  
 5.3.8 Public Acceptance
One of the biggest hurdles to the introduction of the Strategy outlined above, is the likely objection to the more radical parts of the package by the public at large.
Much of this arises from a misunderstanding of the nature of benefits that will be achieved for the community as a whole, over the plan period.

It is important to translate Community Benefits into terms of individual benefits so that the non-public-transport-user can see how he/she would benefit.

If there is no clearly perceived individual benefit, very little modal shift will be achieved.

 5.3.8 ...
Too often it is argued that traffic restraint cannot be introduced until public transport is radically improved.


In B&NES most public transport can only be substantially improved if road congestion is reduced so the two must go hand-in-hand.

This implies that traffic restraint is an end in itself ­ a very dangerous line of thinking



People will not stop using their cars until an effective alternative has been put in place and is fully working. Any other course of action will be tantamount to preventing people travelling within Bath and will radically alter the whole social and financial structure of the city in a very short while. Such a misguided policy could take several decades to reverse.

 5.3.9 Funding
... restraint measures based on charging are seen to have a double benefit of providing both an effective means of reducing use of the private car and providing an income stream.
Both workplace parking charges and congestion charging could deliver an additional income stream, although congestion charging is seen to have the longer term benefit.

Central Government has shown its willingness to fund properly thought out Local Transport Plans. The B&NES LTP has failed to attract this funding for reasons which have been made plain in the Government's response - this report was supposed to show the way in which the LTP could be changed so as to put forward a practical scheme which would match its high aspirations, it has failed to do so.

If a proper self-consistent LTP with real practical policies could be put forward, the additional pricing measure might be found to be unnecessary.
If an attempt is made to introduce these measures without first providing an alternative, there will be strong opposition - and no mode change because none is possible.

Additional funding pathways for Rapid Transit have been identified by Trams for Bath. Why were these not considered as possible sources of funding for beginning the modal shift process?

 Return to top of page  
 6.2 Enhancement of Public Transport
6.2.1 Overview
The radical enhancement of public transport services within B& NES is at the heart of the Transport Vision. It cannot be restricted to improvement of a single mode but is an holistic treatment of all public transport. ...

There has been no holistic treatment of public transport in this report.

The key concept should be to identify where people travel from and where they travel to - this has been completely ignored in favour of a 'corridor' approach, which is easier to analyse but meaningless.

6.2.1 ...

  • Development of accessibility criteria
  • Enhancement of bus services
  • Introduction of rapid transit
  • Park & Ride services
  • Rail services
  • Improvement of interchange
    Other measures.
 6.2.1 ...
Suitable accessibility criteria already exist and are mandatory for all public transport except buses. They are specified in the Disability Discrimination Act Statutory Instrument 1998 No 2456, and the fact that buses do not currently meet them should no longer be a reason to ignore them.


Fig 6.1

 There can be no improvement in interchange until the concept of a network has been firmly grasped. The map of public transport (Fig 6.1) shows no sign of any overall concept of a network which could be integrated.
In particular, the inclusion of the 'Rapid Transit' route on the S&D Railway alignment in isolation through Oldfield Park is complete nonsense.
  6.2.6 Rapid Transit
... This study has not defined the exact form that this rapid transit should take...

The whole point of this study was originally to look into the form that a Rapid Transit network should take. Without that information nothing else can make sense because many other aspects are critically dependent on mode:

 Routes  Interchanges
 Services  Accessibility
 Severance  Land use
 Finance  Timescale
 Environment  Regeneration
 Modal shift  Social inclusion

 6.2.6 ...
...Although this study has not attempted to define in detail the network that should be served by rapid transit,...
It would have been courteous of Halcrow to acknowledge that much of the detailed work on a Rapid Transit network of routes has already been done.

  ... the following routes are considered to be those most appropriate for development as rapid transit corridors:

  • Newbridge to City Centre
  • Lambridge to City Centre
  • Batheaston to City Centre
  • Odd Down to City Centre via Bear Flat
  • Odd Down to City Centre via Oldfield Park
  • Weston to City Centre
  • Lansdown to City Centre

The route to the University is very heavily used and the route to the Royal United Hospital would particularly benefit from the accessibility of trams - why have these been omitted from the list?

There is no mention of interchange, without which none of these routes will be viable.

 6.2.7 Park & Ride

  • Newbridge
  • Odd Down
  • University
  • Lambridge
  • Bathford (area)
  • Newton/Saltford
A bus-based rapid transit system is unsuitable for these routes and will be expensive to remove. It would be cheaper to build tramways from the start and these are more likely to attract Government funding than a busway which will have to be removed after 5 years.
The site indicated for the initial P+R at Lambridge is inadequate. Rather than wasting money causing an additional traffic problem close to a roundabout, it would be better to built the P+R site in Bathampton Meadows to start with.
Saltford station is not a suitable location for a P+R site. A tramway with multiple stops distributed throughout the residential area would offer a better arrangement. It might also allow a P+R to be located elsewhere and linked to the railway station by tramway.
 Return to top of page  
 6.2.8 Rail Services
Rail currently performs an important function in linking B&NES to other parts of the Region, in particular Bristol but also in providing the important link to
London, Reading and the South East.
One of the features of the present rail arrangements is lack of good public transport links to the final destination. If you cannot complete your journey by public transport, you won't start it by public transport.

 6.3.2 Public Transport ...

  • A dedicated public transport route fromNewbridge (in the vicininty of thePark and Ride site) through to Bath City Centre
  • Creation of a largely segregated public transport route from Bath City Centre to the proposed Park & Ride site at Lambridge ...

Segregated public transport links do not serve the populations through which they pass.

This link to the Newbridge P+R has a potential demand of 600 passengers daily, mostly during the morning and evening peaks. The route is inaccessible for the most part and extremely expensive. The route also fails to address the problems of the Royal United Hospital which would benefit from connection to the W Riverside route.

This is merely a repetition of a flawed proposal from the LTP which should have been rejected long ago. For a discussion of the criteria involved and some suggestions for more suitable alternatives see:

  6.3.2 Public Transport ...

·The development of a dedicated public transport route through the Oldfield Park/Twerton area along the line of the old rail trackbed which is currently used as a Linear Park
This infrastructure would need to be designed as an integral part of the development of public transport services and the design of a rapid transit network.

The proposal along the S&D Railway trackbed serves no purpose at all and there is no justification for including in this report.

Once again this is a residual route from an earlier proposal with no proper consideration for the purpose it might serve and no prospect of usefully integrating it into any local network.

 6.4 Introduction of Additional Traffic Restraint Measures


parking charges on-street.& off-street;

Control of...long-stay parking spaces;

Physical restriction of traffic

Bus priority measures

Development of residents' parking schemes.

Introduction of workplace parking levies

Introduction of congestion charging.

If the report had been asked to put forward a prescription for destroying the viability of the City of Bath, there could be no more effective suggestions than these - if they are applied before any effective alternative is in place and functioning.

Residents' Parking Schemes and workplace parking levies are the exact opposite of what is required - residents should be encouraged to make their own off-street parking arrangements. Streets should be reserved for the passage of vehicles and short-term parking only.

 6.5 Changes to Relationship between Traffic, People and Places  6.5.2 - 6.5.3
Examples of European practice could have been included as an appendix.
 6.5.5 Home Zones / Living Zones
... Home zones are residential streets in which road space is shared between motor vehicles and other road users, with measures taken to encourage social activity.
Trams are the only current form of public transport which is properly compatible with the home zone concept.
 6.7.3 Water Borne Transport
... However, the potential exists to operate a valuable river ferry service between Weston Lock and Pultney Weir with suitable intermediate stops linking Lower Weston, the Western Riverside Developments and the City Centre.
Is this ferry service suggested in order to meet a recognised travel need or merely included because the river exists?

 6.3 Indicative timetable for the implementation of measures

Introduction of Rapid Transit

Years 1-5 Introduction of additional bus
Detailed feasibility study
Initial work on BWR
public transport spine
Years 6-10 Completion of BWR
PT spine
Development of Transport
& Works act for other
Years 11-15 Construction of other
Start of operation
Years 16-20 Potential extensions linking
to Bristol


Public Transport

Years 1-5 Public Transport Development
of BWR PT spine
Years 6-10 Development of TWA
submission for Rapid
Years 11-15 Construction of
Rapid Transit corridors

This timetable indicates that the initial implementation of the spine "Rapid Transit" scheme is merely a bus route. Any guided system, bus or tram, would currently have required a ten year planning period.

The picture emerges of a single bus corridor, fed by a P+R site at each end and having no connections to the catchment areas it passes through. It would be optimistic to suppose that this could survive in operation for 15 years while the rest of the network was built at leisure. It is also improbable that the Government would fund the construction of an expensive bus infrastructure which was due to be replaced after 5-10 years by a tramway.

There is no reason at all why the whole network should not be planned and built as a complete entity. If the recommendation to B&NES Council (7.2) had included a feasibility study for a tram network (which this report was supposed to encompass), the system could be installed and running by the year 2015.

 6.9 Summary Chapter 6

... Implementation of a transit system on key routes would be an effective means of contributing to the necessary scale of mode shift. This should operate on the main transport corridors into Bath City Centre and provide a high capacity, high frequency service.

Why should a good quality transit system be confined to certain key routes (mostly P+R) when all routes would benefit from an integrated network.?
 Return to top of page  

 7 Actions Required by B&NES Council

·A switch from public consultation towards a programme of enlightenment of the public....

·Development and acceptance of the 'accessibility criteria', and the means of their delivery through significant improvement of public transport.

·...quality partnership arrangements,

·... reallocate road space... in favour of public transport, pedestrians and cyclists wherever possible

·... extend the provision of "home zone" arrangements...

·..parking revenues are recognised as a legitimate means of raising revenue for cross-subsidy into other transport measures, ... examination of introducing workplace charging to provide an enhanced revenue stream

·Re-examination of the basic highway network to ensure that "gaps" in the network are recognised.

·A comprehensive study of the value of introducing congestion charging


These measures are just a list of current Government thinking coupled with elements of existing proposals and the current Local Transport Plan. They show no original thought by the compilers of this report and do not form a coherent whole Furthermore, many of them do not tie-in with the aspirations previously expressed .

In particular, LRT should now be specifically mentioned as a long-term goal. The process of applying for LRT funding is a very long complex and slow procedure which must be started well in advance of the rest of the project.

Trams for Bath
July 2002


Return to top of page

Return to Reports and Publications page