Bath taxpayers ignored

May 09, 2011 9:41 AM

One rule for the council, one for ordinary taxpayers—or so it seems in Bath. Just under a year ago, without any public consultation, Bath & North East Somerset Council began work moving the central carriageway along Wellsway in preparation for installing bus lanes to and from the city centre. It was only when the work began that an eagle-eyed resident, IT-worker Ian Oxford, noted that this would have an adverse impact on local parking spaces.

When he queried the unauthorised work at the time, he was told only a handful of spaces would go, but he persisted and just recently got a reply from the councillor in charge of transport saying, in truth, it would mean the loss of 59 parking spaces. In the meantime, the council was forced to apologise to local residents on the lack of consultation and halted all work on the bus lanes.

‘Residents who build without planning permission are expected by the council to reverse unauthorised change,' said Oxford, ‘and the council should be following the standards that it expects of others.’

That is bad enough but more importantly it reflects the continuing prejudice of B&NES Council against car owners. Why are bus lanes more important than local residents’ parking spaces? Especially as two new proposed housing developments in the area are going to encroach even further on the few parking spaces remaining. It reveals an appalling lack of coordinated thought among Bath councillors and bad value for local taxpayers who need to drive to and from work.

‘I have lived there for 18 years,’ said an angry Mr Oxford, ‘and suddenly my parking has just been swept away without any formal discussion.’

Tim Newark, Bath & South-West TaxPayers’ AllianceOne rule for the council, one for ordinary taxpayers—or so it seems in Bath. Just under a year ago, without any public consultation, Bath & North East Somerset Council began work moving the central carriageway along Wellsway in preparation for installing bus lanes to and from the city centre. It was only when the work began that an eagle-eyed resident, IT-worker Ian Oxford, noted that this would have an adverse impact on local parking spaces.

When he queried the unauthorised work at the time, he was told only a handful of spaces would go, but he persisted and just recently got a reply from the councillor in charge of transport saying, in truth, it would mean the loss of 59 parking spaces. In the meantime, the council was forced to apologise to local residents on the lack of consultation and halted all work on the bus lanes.

‘Residents who build without planning permission are expected by the council to reverse unauthorised change,' said Oxford, ‘and the council should be following the standards that it expects of others.’

That is bad enough but more importantly it reflects the continuing prejudice of B&NES Council against car owners. Why are bus lanes more important than local residents’ parking spaces? Especially as two new proposed housing developments in the area are going to encroach even further on the few parking spaces remaining. It reveals an appalling lack of coordinated thought among Bath councillors and bad value for local taxpayers who need to drive to and from work.

‘I have lived there for 18 years,’ said an angry Mr Oxford, ‘and suddenly my parking has just been swept away without any formal discussion.’

Tim Newark, Bath & South-West TaxPayers’ Alliance

Latest Blogs:

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

The sugar tax and the public finances

6:00 AM 05, Dec 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Working for the taxman

6:00 AM 26, Nov 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Further thoughts on the Autumn Statement

4:56 PM 24, Nov 2016 James Price

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Have we had too much austerity?

10:57 AM 23, Nov 2016 Alex Wild