Temple Street parking ‘compromise’ reached

Temple Street

More car parking spaces are to be kept in Temple Street in Keynsham after traders and disability campaigners flagged up their concerns about plans to make it a more vibrant place.

Today Bath & North East Somerset Council announced that public feedback has informed changes to the original design which now retains more spaces whilst also providing more greening and cycle parking.

Work is due to begin in the week of 9th January and last until May. The council has said it will be working with contractor Volker to keep disruption to residents and businesses to a minimum.

New natural stone pavements will be laid on the west side of the street, as well as upgraded lighting and drainage, increasing the pavement width and improving disabled parking bays to meet modern standards.

New planters and parklets (pictured below) will also be installed to increase greenery on the Riverside development side, along with new seating and cycle parking.

The changes to car parking consists of two large bays being altered on the east side of the street to introduce additional seating and greening. These are being installed on a trial basis before the council decides whether to seek further funding to make the changes permanent.

On the west side approximately 8.4m of parking will be altered to extend the size of disabled car parking bays, and preparation works will be carried out for a new pedestrian crossing as part of a future phase.

The Temple Street Improvement Project is part of Keynsham High Street Heritage Action Zone Programme funded by Historic England, B&NES Council and Keynsham Town Council.

Today Cllr Andy Wait, chair of Keynsham Town Council, said: “The steering group for the Temple Street improvements have listened very carefully to all who have taken part in the consultation around this work. It is an impossible task to satisfy all requirements. We have had many serious discussions and are confident that we are close as we can be to the best compromise. I believe that most people will enjoy the extra facilities and freedoms the new space will offer.”

Last month some local businesses and disability campaign group Access B&NES had voiced concern about the impact of reduced parking on customers and trade. One of the main critics was Chris Oliver, of Keynsham Hardware. Today he said that after raising concerns about the loss of half the street’s parking spaces, the council had told him he had not been referring to the up-to-date designs, although the council had not specified the actual number of spaces there would be.

He said: “They state that I received a ‘hard copy’ of these (designs). I found it pushed through the letter box on a Saturday morning. The diagram is so poorly printed that it is all but illegible. Going online to the website helps very little either as it turns out the original is also so lightly printed that it is not possible to count how many parking spaces are proposed.”

After today’s announcement Mr Oliver said it appears to be “better news” but that the council is still not categorically stating how many spaces there will be.

He added that he had been told that the loading bay proposal for outside St Keyna Court is a “future plan”. “That’s B&NES speak for we aren’t getting a loading bay and if we ever do, outside St Keyna Court is hardly in close proximity. That’s no use to delivery drivers if they cannot pull up relatively close to the shops as they do now.”

He understands that the proposed crossing will be a zebra one on the corner of Carpenters Lane.