A COACH in Bath spent half-an-hour making a “a three point turn in inches” in a road the council recently bollarded up as part of its liveable neighbourhood programme.

Sydney Road is one of Bath and North East Somerset Council’s five new trial schemes, which aim to make residential roads safer and more pleasant routes for walking and cycling.

The road’s junction with Warminster Road was reworked in April and bollards were installed as the road turns into Sydney Place to prevent rat-running.

But when large vehicles do turn down the road, it poses a new problem, and Keir Cooper, who witnessed the coach become stuck on Saturday, May 18, said: “It took him about half an hour to turn around, a three point turn in inches. There was quite a crowd watching.

“The problem is, apart from the fact that it’s a terrible scheme, based on the lie that Sydney Road is a rat run (it isn’t, it’s a perfectly serviceable and much needed city thoroughfare) is that they’ve stupidly closed it half way down the street and not created enough space for larger vehicles to turn.

“They claim it’s a six month test. We all know what that means.”

He added that a lorry trying to make the same turn as the coach a few days before had hit and knocked down a home’s stone gatepost.

As with the council’s three previous liveable neighbourhood trials, the scheme is in place on an “experimental” basis while a consultation is carried out. Despite the incidents such as the one on Saturday, people on the road have welcomed the scheme.

Cllr Manda Rigby, council cabinet member for transport, said: “We are monitoring this issue and have been in touch with the resident who reported the coaches. Compliant signage is in place and we know that Google Maps shows it is not a through route so drivers should be aware of the trial.”

A spokesperson for coach owners South Coast Travel said: “Whilst we cannot make comment on the councils reasoning for the bollards being put into place, it is our belief that clearer signage is necessary on entrance to this road.

“Our drivers are committed to thorough route planning, however, new road changes without clear signage can cause events like this to take place. We often use digital tools to check roads prior to travel. These tools are still not updated to show the bollards have been put into place.”