Thousands protest against Bath's controversial Liveable Neighbourhood trials

ITV West Country reporter Richard Payne meets with those fighting plans to introduce a Liveable Neighbourhood in Bathwick

Thousands of people in Bath have signed a petition against controversial plans to restrict traffic through parts of the city.

Three Liveable Neighbourhoods (LNs) have already been approved by the local council -with a further five identified for trials.

Many people are unhappy about the idea which closes residential roads to through traffic.

They argue that, without viable alternatives to using a motor vehicle, these schemes divert the problems and reduce people's quality of life elsewhere.

The council told ITV News West Country that it will continue to consult on its proposals

One of the new schemes will close Sydney Road and Sydney Place to through traffic, near the city centre, forcing motorists to negotiate the busy A36 Warminster Road instead.

"This will create stationary traffic with people sitting with engines on, creating pollution in both directions at quite a few different points of the day," claims Madeline Blackburn.

Her petition against LNs has attracted nearly 4,000 signatures. "I don't think that suits the green agenda in any way, shape or form."

Bath's council leaders are among the first to adopt the controversial Liveable Neighbourhood idea

Transport leaders make no apology for trying to reclaim some of Bath's streets - insisting to do nothing is no longer an option.

Bath and North East Somerset Council's cabinet member for transport, councillor Manda Rigby, denies it is an anti-car initiative.

She said: "We need to protect our residential roads and if by so doing, people end up with a journey that is slightly longer then, I'm afraid, that is the whole basis of what we are trying to do on Liveable Neighbourhoods.

"We have to trial because without trialling we will not know whether this will work."

Resident Matt Byrne thinks he already knows the trial won't work.

In part, because he thinks Bath's public transport provision is an unviable alternative. 

He said: "It's not opposition to Liveable Neighbourhoods, it is that this scheme has been ill thought through and it hasn't consulted those who are going to be worse affected by it.

"The only way we can get our voice heard at the moment is through petition and nearly 4,000 people have signed that petition but the council won't listen to us so we feel unrepresented. It feels undemocratic and it feels like a scheme is being imposed on us."