Conservatives call on Council to ditch Ring of Steel plans ahead of UNESCO disability day

The Conservative Group on Bath and North East Somerset Council has called on the Lib Dem administration to rethink its controversial Ring of Steel plans ahead of an important day of global awareness.

The UNESCO International Day of Persons with Disabilities will take place on Friday 3 December, and the Conservatives have suggested it would be the perfect time to announce a review of the policy.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to raise awareness about disability issues and drum up support for greater equality.

And the B&NES Conservatives say it will be embarrassing and damaging for Bath, as a UNESCO World Heritage City, to reach this important global day with the administration still planning to permanently exclude visitors and residents with disabilities from the city centre.

Cllr Vic Pritchard, Leader of the Conservative Group on B&NES Council, said: “These plans are causing huge upset to residents across our district who have mobility problems. People who cannot walk more than a few metres and who need to be able to access services by car feel they are being excluded from their own city.

“We recognise the need for enhanced security and improved air quality, but this must be achieved without ruining the lives of fellow citizens who already face significant challenges.

“We hope councillors of all parties will support us in trying to stop these divisive plans. The administration should pause, consult properly, and think again about the harm they are causing. Bath’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage City places responsibility on those with power, and I call on them to use that power fairly, for the good of all – particularly those with disabilities.”

The Council has announced plans to extend the closure of Milsom Street in the city centre for a further six months, with a view to closing it permanently to traffic during the hours of 10am-6pm. This plan is currently out for formal consultation.