Dorchester Street Bus Gate – Conservatives call for clarity over its future

Conservative councillors have called upon Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Liberal Democrat administration to provide greater clarity over the future of the Dorchester Street Bus Gate.

The trial of the new Bus Gate came to an abrupt halt last week following a wave of public protest, which culminated with the Council ultimately agreeing to refund all the fines issued during its trial run, something which it is thought will cost the Council in excess of £270,000.

Conservative councillors, who campaigned against the Bus Gate’s introduction, have slated the Council’s ruling Liberal Democrats for wasting such large sums of taxpayers’ money on the ill-fated scheme. Conservatives have tabled a series of questions for answer at the B&NES Cabinet Meeting on Wednesday 14th May seeking clarity on whether the Council still intends on reintroducing the Bus Gate at a later date.

Conservative Shadow Transport Spokesman Cllr Anthony Clarke said:

“This whole fiasco has caused immeasurable damage to Bath’s reputation and will cost the Council thousands of pounds in taxpayers’ money to put right.

“Despite the rather bizarre claims by the Council’s Lib Dem leadership that the Bus Gate trial was a success, it was clearly an abject failure. With so many cars still driving along Dorchester Street, it simply won’t be possible to judge what the impact would be on traffic on other routes.

“What we now need is greater clarity from B&NES over what the future holds for this Bus Gate. This is why we are pressing the Council’s Cabinet to clarify whether it still plans on reintroducing the Bus Gate at some point in the future and if so under what circumstances.

“It would clearly be madness for it to be in place during the planned road works on Rossiter Road, but at this point we simply don’t know what the Council is planning longer-term.

“The last thing we need in Bath are more piecemeal traffic schemes and road closures.”