B&NES Conservatives appeal to Government minister to stop ‘unfair’ Ring of Steel plans

The Conservative Group on Bath and North East Somerset Council has appealed to the Government for help to fight the Bath Ring of Steel proposals.

Cllr Vic Pritchard, Leader of the Council’s Conservative Group and ward member for the Chew Valley, has penned an open letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP asking the Secretary of State to review the policy.

It follows the recent Cabinet meeting in which the Council’s Liberal Democrat administration approved the plans to restrict access to Bath city centre, and the Conservative Group’s persistent opposition to them.

In the letter, Cllr Pritchard highlighted the fact that the proposals are, in reality, insufficient to stop a terror attack and would instead leave people, especially people with mobility problems, locked out of the city centre.

He explained that the policy is against the spirit of the Equalities Act and that, following the economic shock that has been visited upon towns and cities across the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we should be championing our city centres, not walling them off to residents and visitors.

Cllr Pritchard said: “The Ring of Steel proposals are unfair and unnecessary and we are seeking help from the Government to try to get this administration to see sense and ditch these controversial plans.

“The Liberal Democrats are using the threat of terrorism to further their anti-motoring agenda and further demonise drivers. These proposals will not actually prevent terror attacks from taking place and will simply marginalise members of our community who are not able to move around easily.”