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Gloucestershire Business News

Cheltenham gears up for more cycling and walking

Cyclists and pedestrians have been placed at the heart of proposals for the future of transport in Cheltenham which will be considered by Gloucestershire County Council next week.

The council's cabinet will debate progressing to the next stage of the West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Scheme.

Councillor Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: "I will be asking cabinet to agree that the second half of this major transport scheme can move forward.

"I'm particularly pleased that it includes £1.6million of walking and cycling improvements that will connect the area and provide a link to the railway station for cyclists and pedestrians."

The WCTIS scheme is split into several stages, the of which involves Arle Court roundabout and the roads leading to it, including the dual carriageway from M5 Junction 11.

Work is already underway with contractor Knights Brown on site and the council is hosting a live Q&A session on its YouTube channel at 10am on Friday.

The second part, scheduled to start late this year or early 2021, includes improvements on the A40 between Arle Court and the Gloucester Road/Lansdown Road junction with widening at Benhall roundabout and Telstar Way.

Significant cycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements from Arle Court to Cheltenham Railway Station will feature in this stage.

The £22 million of funding for this transport scheme has come from the Government via GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire's Local Enterprise Partnership with a further £1.6million has been re-allocated by the GFirst LEP solely for cycling and walking in the area.

GFirst chief executive David Owen said: "Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our draft Local Industrial Strategy highlighted our desire to increase investment in both cycling and walking infrastructure across the county and to focus on climate change.

"The increase in usage of bikes over the past few months has been one of the few positives coming out of lockdown and this investment will help to improve the road infrastructure for cyclists and walkers even further in West Cheltenham."

The transport scheme will improve traffic flow and public transport options as well as helping to pave the way for long-term plans for the area, including the proposed Cyber Park and Cyber Innovation Centre.

The next step is for the council to look for a contractor to deliver the second half of the scheme including the walking and cycling improvements, which will follow on from the work in progress.

Questions for the live Q&A can be submitted in advance by emailing majorprojects@gloucestershire.gov.uk  by 9am on June 10.

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