The Bear Flat Association’s Vision for improving our ‘High Street’ is making progress. Two funding bids have been made. And major changes to Wellsway are in prospect.
BFA is working to make the Vision a reality, not only by pressing the local authorities and others to act but also through its own initiatives.
The latest news is below, followed by a recap of the Vision itself.
Click here for a summary of what has happened since the Vision was published in 2020.
WECA (the West of England Combined Authority) is carrying out a corridor study of the A367 from Churchill Bridge all the way south to Radstock. The aim is to identify significant improvements for bus travel, walking and cycling.
First proposals were published for consultation in June 2023. Many BFA members responded.
The BFA submission is here
BFA backed many of the measures as helping to fulfil our Vision for Bear Flat Centre. But some things we want are not yet included, and some we think need to be considered further.
We support reduced space for general traffic, footpath widening, and pedestrian priority at many (but not all!) Wellsway junctions. More consideration is needed, we said, of the Wellsway/Bloomfield Road junction, especially a crossing of Bloomfield Road. We called for a 20mph speed limit through Bear Flat; also for more trees and landscaping, recognising that the A367 is also our ‘high street’.
We commented also on changes nearby, north of Bear Flat (as far as the foot of Hayesfield Park) and south (as far as Hatfield Road).
WECA plan to publish a detailed consultation report, covering all the feedback received, on their website later in 2023. They will then draw up more detailed designs, and there will be an opportunity to comment on these in a further consultation.
WELLSWAY AND THE BLOOMFIELD ROAD JUNCTION
BFA has published a position paper on the southern part of Bear Flat Centre. This sets out BFA’s thinking on how both Wellsway through Bear Flat and the Bloomfield Road junction could be improved in pursuit of the Vision.
The aim is to have this in time for a scheme to follow the West of England Combined Authority’s (WECA) corridor study of the A367 (see below). Consultation on proposals is expected this year.
The paper sets out the principles that we think should guide any proposals that come forward. We would like our High Street to be a pleasanter and safer place, with through traffic less dominant. The paper is here.
Comments are now invited on the paper – by email please to email@example.com
Cllr Winston Duguid has submitted two bids under the B&NES Liveable Neighbourhoods programme. A decision on both bids is awaited.
- Bloomfield Road Crossing The bid proposed a crossing at the bottom of Bloomfield Road. The exact location and nature of the crossing was not decided – the bid was for the principle, and there would be a consultation if and when a scheme comes forward.
- Hayes Place The idea is to form a pleasanter and safer place, and community focus. Two-way traffic to and from Holloway and Beechen Cliff Road and some parking in (or close to) Hayes Place would continue. The bid followed a BFA consultation.
BFA is improving The Gore. Making this a stronger and more attractive focal point for Bear Flat Centre is a major part of the Vision. There is more information here.
Recap THE VISION: PUBLICATION AND CONSULTATION
The Bear Flat Association published a vision in 2020 for improving the Bear Flat centre. The intention was to stimulate debate and spark more ideas – and to get everyone working together for a better centre. You can read the full Vision document here.
BFA’s eight-point plan included:
- Reconfiguring the Wellsway carriageway to yield more space for walking and cycling
- Providing more landscaping to green the centre
- Redesigning Hayes Place as a real place for people.
In his Foreword, Cllr Winston Duguid said: ‘The BFA’s vision and its campaigns .. will safeguard and enhance the future of a great and highly desirable part of Bath’.
BFA consulted locally before and after publication of the Vision document. We are grateful to the residents and traders who sent in ideas for improvements to the centre as a place to shop and to visit.
Most notable was the public meeting (online) where the BFA Planning & Transport Group presented ideas and possibilities to help us achieve the Vision. You can view the slides and speakers’ notes and read a lively report of the meeting; and also read comments stimulated by the public meeting.
Further comments and suggestions arising from the Vision are welcome at any time – just email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONSERVATION AREA STUDY
BFA’s vision for improving the Bear Flat builds on the Conservation Area Study which BFA produced in 2020, commissioned and published by Bath & North East Somerset Council. Find out more