City traffic planning has gone badly wrong
It seems that barely a week goes by without a Bath citizen writing to the Chronicle reporting another traffic experiment that has not worked. Most of your readers' reports seem well founded. Bath traffic plans often seem to produce potentially dangerous situations, or cause further congestion points in an already congested city.
But why does this constantly happen? Proper traffic planning requires several things.
First, a clear understanding of the interface of roadways, traffic flow and vehicle and pedestrian safety. Second, it requires adequate data about traffic and pedestrian flows over a period of time. Finally, it requires the technical know-how and experience to make sense of this data and to model it effectively.
Something is clearly going drastically wrong with the traffic planning process in Bath.
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Is it that the council does not have the right expertise at its disposal?
Or are councillors with little understanding of the technical aspects of these matters pressurising officials? I think that we need some investigation, perhaps by the Chronicle, of these questions. And the problems are pressing. We are promised even more radical traffic experiments, meanwhile the results of previous attempts in Dorchester Street and the 'coach experiment' in Orange Grove provide us with a daily reminder that whoever plans these things does not seem to know what they are doing.
And finally a comment on one aspect of the latest plan. Do we really want to live in a town where the police station is not accessible in an emergency by a private vehicle?
Or where the Post Office sorting depot holding our bulky parcels cannot be accessed by car? Or, almost unbelievably, where it is not possible either to deliver or collect passengers to the railway station by private car?
PROFESSOR IAN JAMIESON Summer Lane Combe Down Bath