Properties in central Bath that are flooding or filling with gas will have to wait two hours for an emergency call under proposed new counterterrorism measures.
Merchants and utility companies would need to give advance notice before they could cross new mobile kiosks to reach homes or businesses in an emergency, and blue light departments would also need the green light from officials in the area. advice for urgent access.
Critics said measures to protect the crowded streets around Bath Abbey and the Roman Baths from attack by hostile vehicles could cost precious time, with a warning about the risk of an explosion from a water leak. gas.
The initial scheme limited 24/7 access and eliminated all parking lots, including for holders of blue badges.
Under the revised proposals – which are expected to cost £ 2.7million – checks will be in place daily at Cheap Street, Westgate Street, Saw Close and Upper Borough Walls from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on York Street.
During those hours, blue badge holders will have to show their cards to enter or exit the area, with more checks in place for their caregivers or taxi drivers to drop them off or collect them.
Holders of blue badges will be able to park for up to three hours on the double yellow lines in certain restricted access streets, more disabled parking spaces will be created outside the secure area and additional seats will be provided to ensure safe access. adequate resting space.
Other vehicles would also be affected.
Bath and the North East Somerset Council have previously said traders will be required to park outside the area and bring their kit on carts. The draft Anti-Terrorism Traffic Regulation (TRO) Ordinance now states that an access request must be submitted as part of the initial planning and assessment, then contractors must give 24 hours’ notice for each vehicle entering.
And it says film crews and anyone planning an event, move, or big delivery will need to request access and give 10 days’ notice.
The only delivery vehicles allowed in the secure area will be Royal Mail and Parcelforce, allowing them to process Union Street Post Office mail.
Municipal vehicles will be able to access restricted streets at all times.
The national threat level was reduced to “substantial” in February. If it changes to “serious” or “critical”, or if there is a suspected terrorist incident, current or recent, vehicles and users normally exempt from anti-terrorism TRO, such as holders of blue badges, could then be affected.
Transport Cabinet Councilor Manda Rigby said: “This program involves proportionate preventive measures to protect public safety, based on advice from the police that such a program should be introduced.
“To reduce the risk to our city, we must follow this advice and the results of the counterterrorism investigation that this area of Bath is vulnerable.
“However, we also need to make sure that local residents, businesses and people with accessibility issues have a say in traffic orders.
“We have acted on the comments received in our previous consultation and have modified the program accordingly, so this consultation will ensure that we get the correct traffic orders.”
The board consults the TRO until October 14.
If approved, they would be in effect at any time from December, but work on installing the barriers will not begin until next summer.
The council plans to continue consultations with user groups on the operation and management of access to permanent facilities, to ensure they are secure but easy to access.
Click here to respond to the consultation.