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Gloucestershire Business News

Cheltenham active transport plan steps up a gear

Work could begin before Christmas on the second part of a scheme designed to increase walking and cycling in Cheltenham as part of a major transport scheme.

At least £1.6million has been set aside for active transport links by Gloucestershire County Council as part of the West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Scheme.

The second part of the scheme includes extra lanes and a new cycling and walking route connecting Cheltenham Spa Railway Station to Arle Court Roundabout.

In all the scheme, funded by the Government via the local enterprise partnership GFirst LEP, stands at £23.6million after the award of almost £8.5million earlier this month.

As well as improving access links to Cheltenham, the scheme is designed to help with the delivery of the proposed Cyber Business Park.

Work has begun on the first phase of the scheme with roadworks in place around the Arle Court Roundabout and the council's cabinet has agreed to open the search for a contractor for the second half of the project.

Councillor Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: "Now that we have the full £23.6m package approved we can move ahead with the second part of the WCTIS scheme, which as well as supporting cycling and walking and reducing congestion, will help accelerate economic growth and boost jobs which is really welcome news, particularly for the county's future recovery from the current COVID-19 pandemic."

He continued: "This is the most prestigious project Gloucestershire County Council has delivered to date, so I want to thank our partners GFirst LEP for making it happen.

"This scheme will bring significant improvements to all modes of transport in the area, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians.

"Supporting sustainable and active travel is at the heart of this scheme, and I'm excited for the future transport options this scheme unlocks."

The second phase could start before Christmas if the ongoing work on Arle Court Roundabout and the M5 Junction 11 slip road runs to schedule.

Work on the Junction 11 slip road and Arle Court Roundabout will be followed by improvements to Telstar Way and Benhall Roundabout up to the Gloucester Road junction.

GFirst LEP chief executive David Owen said: "This is our largest investment to date and supports a hugely important project for us and indeed for the county.

"Our draft Local Industrial Strategy highlighted our desire to support more cycling and walking initiatives and this investment confirms that commitment"

The new cycleway and walking route will connect Princess Elizabeth Way to the A40, and link Arle Court and Benhall roundabouts to the railway station.

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