Bath is a city with significant Roman Baths and extensive Georgian architecture in north-east Somerset. It is unique in the UK in having naturally-heated spring waters which in the eighteenth century saw it become one of the largest and most visited cities in the country. The great crescents and terraces display the wealth in the city at the time.
In 1965 the Buchanan Report into Bath's transport network (Bath: A Planning & Transport Study, Colin Buchanan and Partners, December 1965) proposed creating a D2 Tunnel under the historic centre, taking the A4 from Walcot Street through to Kingsmead. Although this would have removed traffic from the heart of the city the substantial demolition required, including of several Georgian terraces, proved both too controversial and, ultimately, too expensive.
One cause of congestion today is that there is no access between the Batheaston Bypass (linking the A4 with the A46), and the A36 on the other side of the Avon Valley. The only options are to head into the city as far as the Cleveland Bridge, or to take the unclassified private toll bridge near Bathampton. In addition the city is one of the most popular tourist destinations outside London and also has above average levels of in-commuting.
In May 2012, Bath and North East Somerset Council announced plans for a blanket 20mph speed limit on all urban roads in Bath.