A VISION FOR BEAR FLAT CENTRE

Bear Flat as it is today

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 about the Vision itself.

WELLSWAY AND THE BLOOMFIELD ROAD JUNCITON

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 immediate aim is to have this in time for:

  • The result of a bid under the Liveable Neighbourhoods programme for a crossing on Bloomfield Road (see below); and
  • A scheme likely to follow the West of England Combined Authority’s (WECA) corridor study of the A367 (see below).

The paper sets out the principles that we think should guide any proposals that come forward. The aim is to make our High Street 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 planning@bearflat.org.uk

FUNDING BIDS

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.

THE GORE

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.

WECA STUDY

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.

We have not seen any announcement of the study, but we hear that there will be a public consultation shortly.

Potentially at least, this is exciting news for Bear Flat. Greater provision for walking and cycling would chime with the Bear Flat Centre Vision.

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.

Tree planting on Wellsway – one of the ideas presented at the public meeting

Further comments and suggestions arising from the Vision are welcome at any time – just email them to planning@bearflat.org.uk

CONSERVATION AREA STUDY

BFA’s vision for improving the Bear Flat centre builds on the Conservation Area Study which BFA produced in 2020, commissioned and published by Bath & North East Somerset Council. . Find out more