Bath's road to nowhere

April 18, 2011 10:39 AM

A local resident tells me about the continuing agony of Bath’s £16 million Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route, dubbed a ‘pointless road to nowhere.’ In an era of cuts, Bath and North East Somerset council were asked by the Department for Transport (DfT) to revisit their overall plans for the Bath Transport Package (BTP).

‘Unbelievably B&NES chose to keep the expensive and pointless BRT route in their overall BTP,’ says Mark Price of local protest group Response2Route. ‘Basically they completely ignored what the DfT asked them to do and they are still proposing a scheme which will waste millions of taxpayers money on a BRT road to nowhere. Quite why they are determined to keep the worst element of the BTP in place is a mystery but that’s what they are doing—and by doing it they risk losing all of the funding for the overarching BTP.’

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="'Enhancing the local environment'"][/caption]

Maybe this is not so surprising as this is the same council that spent £1million on a 700-yard bus lane. ‘This was a complicated project involving the conservation of wildlife and archaeological issues,’ is how a council official described the strip of tarmac.

Response2Route have sent a detailed analysis of the BRT to the DfT. For all the millions it will cost the taxpayer and for all the disruption to local residents and businesses, the council estimates that the new route will save just two minutes on a bus trip from Newbridge to Bath City centre. Still, put against a million pounds on a 700-yard bus lane, maybe it’s bargain in the world of B&NES?

If built, the BRT route will join the recently opened ‘bridge to nowhere’ that cost £1.6 million and was called by a former Bath councillor ‘an absolute waste of money’.

Tim Newark, Bath & South-West TaxPayers’ AllianceA local resident tells me about the continuing agony of Bath’s £16 million Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route, dubbed a ‘pointless road to nowhere.’ In an era of cuts, Bath and North East Somerset council were asked by the Department for Transport (DfT) to revisit their overall plans for the Bath Transport Package (BTP).

‘Unbelievably B&NES chose to keep the expensive and pointless BRT route in their overall BTP,’ says Mark Price of local protest group Response2Route. ‘Basically they completely ignored what the DfT asked them to do and they are still proposing a scheme which will waste millions of taxpayers money on a BRT road to nowhere. Quite why they are determined to keep the worst element of the BTP in place is a mystery but that’s what they are doing—and by doing it they risk losing all of the funding for the overarching BTP.’

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="'Enhancing the local environment'"][/caption]

Maybe this is not so surprising as this is the same council that spent £1million on a 700-yard bus lane. ‘This was a complicated project involving the conservation of wildlife and archaeological issues,’ is how a council official described the strip of tarmac.

Response2Route have sent a detailed analysis of the BRT to the DfT. For all the millions it will cost the taxpayer and for all the disruption to local residents and businesses, the council estimates that the new route will save just two minutes on a bus trip from Newbridge to Bath City centre. Still, put against a million pounds on a 700-yard bus lane, maybe it’s bargain in the world of B&NES?

If built, the BRT route will join the recently opened ‘bridge to nowhere’ that cost £1.6 million and was called by a former Bath councillor ‘an absolute waste of money’.

Tim Newark, Bath & South-West TaxPayers’ Alliance

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