Council should rethink ‘draconian’ anti-motoring plans following reduction in terror threat level

The Council should rethink its plans to ban vehicles from Bath city centre following the reduction in the UK’s terror threat level, councillors have said.

The Liberal Democrat administration on Bath and North East Somerset Council is proposing to restrict access to the city centre 24 hours a day, seven days-a-week for 365 days a year. They also want to erect new reinforced bollards and anti-terror street furniture at numerous places in the city centre.

These unprecedented and draconian steps will leave city centre residents unable to park their cars outside their properties, receive deliveries to their doors or be dropped off at their doorsteps by taxis late at night. The restrictions will also result in Blue Badge holders having to park in Council car parks rather than outside their homes.

The reason for these proposals, according to the administration, is to protect residents against terrorism.

At the time the proposals were drawn up, the UK’s terror threat level was rated ‘Severe’. But earlier this month, the UK Government downgraded the country’s terror threat level from ‘Severe’ to ‘Substantial’, meaning an attack is less likely.

Councillor Paul Myers, Leader of the Conservative Group on Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: “The Lib Dem administration’s plans to completely restrict traffic from the city centre were bad enough when they were first proposed. But now the UK’s terror threat level has been reduced, the Council should rethink its plans to ensure residents and businesses are not negatively impacted.

“With the UK economy facing a double-dip recession and the mammoth task of recovering from the COVID pandemic approaching, we should not be implementing measures that could seriously hamper businesses and the Bath economy.

“The Conservative Group is calling on the Liberal Democrats to stop using the threat of terrorism to further their anti-motoring agenda, and to respond to the reduction of the national terror threat level by rethinking their draconian proposals.”