Businesses and residents of Bath are battling net-zero measures such as roadblocks, bollards and digital permits, which they say will prevent free movement in the historic city.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its Roman baths and connection to the writer Jane Austen, Bath has adopted a number of environmental measures aimed at achieving a “significant transition to mass transit, walking and biking”. are being introduced. However, many residents argue that the measures are anti-automotive and anti-democratic, dramatically changing the way people live and travel.
The Liberal Democrat-run Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES, or BANES) Council declared a “climate emergency” in 2019 with the goal of making the city and district carbon neutral by 2030. I was.
The Ideology of “15 Minutes City”
One project in Bath supports the ’15 minute city’ or ’15 minute district’ urban planning concept. In other words, it is a city divided into neighborhoods with a capacity of about 50,000 people in 20,000 households, with facilities, jobs, and necessary services within the city. 15 minutes on foot or by bicycle.
“The concept aims to foster an urban environment that supports you (the resident) in meeting your daily needs locally. sex can be reduced. bain.
However, schemes born out of such a 15-minute City/Net Zero ideology include low traffic areas (LTNs), which use barriers, bollards, road signs and planters to limit the movement of vehicles; Includes private parking (RPZ). , a digital permit is required to park a car in certain areas. In some areas, 70% of residents Opposed to RPZ, but introduced by Council.
The council said key policies were to “reduce vehicle emissions, encourage public transport use, reduce congestion, and ensure road space in a considerate manner for those wishing to walk, cycle, or cycle.” ‘That’ is the purpose. Cycling groups and environmentalists have welcomed the move.
“Changing the Whole Way of Our Lives”
Caroline Horsford campaigns in Bath free bus street The movement told The Epoch Times, “No one asked us if we wanted to change our entire way of life.”
“The way we live, the way we shop, the way we educate our children, the way we drop them off at school, everything is changing and changing rapidly,” she said.
She said there are “bollards or new rules” every week that mean drivers can’t stop, park, or pass through certain areas.
“This is done without proper consultation,” she added.
Horsford claims the council refuses to meet concerned stakeholders, such as affected businesses.
free bus street youtube channel Characterized by shops on a busy boulevard called Moorland Road, some say the practice has dropped by 50% due to less foot traffic due to parking restrictions in the area.
The mayor of Horsford said the council has also refused to discuss the town’s “iron ring” which is hurting residents and businesses in the city centre.
From “anti-terrorism” to “anti-traffic”
Initially set up as a security zone ostensibly to prevent vehicle-based terrorist attacks in the center of town, campaigners believe Bath’s £7 million.steel ring“It consists of a manually operated barrier that remains closed from 10am to 6pm and is a tool to force motorists to implement net zero measures.
There are also plans to divide Bath into four cells, Horsford said. As with other cities such as Oxford, there are strict rules about how often drivers can drive into the town center and what areas they can access. Some critics have called it “climate lockdown by default.”
About 15 LTNS, also referred to by the council as ‘liveable neighborhoods’ areas, have been identified in Bath and North East Somerset. But Horsford, who claims a total of 48 are planned, insists the council won’t tell protesters where they’re going until after the election in May. There is
“When you have 48 rabbits in a small city like Bath, you live in a rabbit den,” she said.
The group said their concerns were regularly dismissed as conspiracy theories, or that theysparked a culture war.“
The World Economic Forum 15 minutes city.
BANES has signed on to a global network of mayors “taking urgent action to tackle the climate crisis.” C40 CitiesThe UK also has a legally binding target to reach net zero by 2050. This includes using behavioral science to achieve this while phasing out petrol and diesel cars, gas boilers and changing people’s diets to significantly reduce our carbon footprint by 2030. including the UK Government’s plans to reduce end.
of declare together, co-founded by Alan Miller, was founded in 2021 with a mission to “oppose the rapidly growing encroachment on our rights and freedoms” in response to COVID measures. together”liberate our city” exercise.
Miller told the Epoch Times: “extreme right”.
“They desperately don’t want people to drive their cars freely.”
Graham Pryst, who intends to run for Conservative MP in the upcoming local elections to defend his area with LTN barricades, told The Epoch Times that the deployment of the measure would be “fighting neighbor against neighbor. He said.
“They desperately don’t want people to be able to drive their cars as freely as they used to,” he said.
Pristo said he believes the council’s purpose “may be good idealism”, but believes that what the town wants needs to be “done from a position of strength”, adding that businesses and Suggesting that families are already being adversely affected by COVID lockdowns and the situation.Economy.
“This town needs good public service and affordable public transport alternatives, but right now bus is canceled The two will never get married because the car is stolen at the same time,” he said.
Sam Smith*, a blue badge holder (driver with a disability) who relies heavily on his car, struggles to get into the center of town for the Ring of Steel.
He told the Epoch Times that initially the council wanted to ban all traffic from the town center, including cars of disabled drivers. Limitations However, for Blue Badge owners.
“Now they allow traffic and they have to show blue badges like sentries in war movies.”
On transforming Bath into a 15-minute city, Smith said he does not approve plans that model the city’s future. Ghent in Belgium.
“It’s flat as a pancake, has ring roads and 24/7 public transport,” Smith says of Ghent. “These are three things he doesn’t have in Bath. Someone just took a cut-and-paste approach to another company’s transport solution and tried to apply it here,” he said.
“It’s transportation rations. When you have to ration free movement by car in a free society, it’s legal to own, but it’s not yet illegal, and you have to pay high taxes, right?” he said. said.
BANES did not respond to the Epoch Times’ request for comment.
*This person wishes to remain anonymous.