Stop Scaremongering

October 18, 2010 2:34 PM

The front page of the Bath Chronicle features Patrick Rotheram, transport spokesman for the Federation of Bath Residents’ Associations, saying that Bath is ‘overrun with traffic’ and that the Circus is like a  ‘roundabout.’ I live in the centre of Bath and frequently walk round the Circus to see the road is empty of any traffic. Like any city anywhere, some roads are congested at busy times, but other times they are not. It is just the ebb and flow of modern traffic. The problem with Rotheram’s scaremongering is that councils can often take it very seriously and waste millions of taxpayers’ money trying to do something about it. 


Bath TPA-small Living part of my life in Islington, London, I saw the result of a council going anti-car mad. They closed off roads, introduced controlled parking zones, bus lanes, and speed humps. The results were catastrophic for the local community, and the ruling party at the time. Shopkeepers were dismayed to see their customers disappearing as they got fined for a succession of offences, residents saw their local shops shut down to be replaced by supermarkets with their own parking, families got fed up with their friends and relations being fined for coming to visit them. In the end, residents banded together to fight the ruling Lib Dems at the local election and, such was the discontent at their anti-car policies, they lost control of the council, plus their leader and deputy leader were voted out!
 
Bath must be careful not to go down the same barmy path as some London boroughs, and should not even think about introducing a congestion charge. It will destroy local business and community. Already, it seems that some of the measures introduced by the council, including bus lanes, pavement widening, closed off roads, too many traffic lights, seem to be adding to congestion at busy times, rather than easing it. Generally speaking, traffic gridlock is frequently caused by badly planned road-works. If there is one lesson that should be learned is that when the council interferes in our everyday life, it rarely solves problems and frequently costs lots more money to fix. 
 
Tim Newark, Bath TaxPayer’s Alliance


The front page of the Bath Chronicle features Patrick Rotheram, transport spokesman for the Federation of Bath Residents’ Associations, saying that Bath is ‘overrun with traffic’ and that the Circus is like a  ‘roundabout.’ I live in the centre of Bath and frequently walk round the Circus to see the road is empty of any traffic. Like any city anywhere, some roads are congested at busy times, but other times they are not. It is just the ebb and flow of modern traffic. The problem with Rotheram’s scaremongering is that councils can often take it very seriously and waste millions of taxpayers’ money trying to do something about it. 


Bath TPA-small Living part of my life in Islington, London, I saw the result of a council going anti-car mad. They closed off roads, introduced controlled parking zones, bus lanes, and speed humps. The results were catastrophic for the local community, and the ruling party at the time. Shopkeepers were dismayed to see their customers disappearing as they got fined for a succession of offences, residents saw their local shops shut down to be replaced by supermarkets with their own parking, families got fed up with their friends and relations being fined for coming to visit them. In the end, residents banded together to fight the ruling Lib Dems at the local election and, such was the discontent at their anti-car policies, they lost control of the council, plus their leader and deputy leader were voted out!
 
Bath must be careful not to go down the same barmy path as some London boroughs, and should not even think about introducing a congestion charge. It will destroy local business and community. Already, it seems that some of the measures introduced by the council, including bus lanes, pavement widening, closed off roads, too many traffic lights, seem to be adding to congestion at busy times, rather than easing it. Generally speaking, traffic gridlock is frequently caused by badly planned road-works. If there is one lesson that should be learned is that when the council interferes in our everyday life, it rarely solves problems and frequently costs lots more money to fix. 
 
Tim Newark, Bath TaxPayer’s Alliance


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