Council moves cycling up a gear in £10m funding bid
By Rob Freeman | 13th August 2020
Gloucestershire County Council has lodged a bid for £10million of government funding to transform cycling in the county.
The bid follows a £1.15million allocation from the Emergency Active Travel Fund, but the council wants to go much further.
Topping the list of planned projects in the bid is a six mile-long Cheltenham to Gloucester B4063 cycle link which is included in existing plans and will connect Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Cheltenham council area.
And it includes smaller schemes submitted by district council colleagues in Tewkesbury, Stroud, Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean, as well as the Gloucestershire Local Cycling and Walking Plan and Gloucestershire's Local Transport Plan.
Councillor Nigel Moor, cabinet member for planning and environment, said: "We want to address the quality of cycle facilities in Gloucestershire and this bid demonstrates what we can do with the right levels of investment.
"We know people are eager for cycling improvements because they're telling us - we are listening and taking action.
"The B4063 remains a priority. It has long been considered a barrier to economic and environmental growth that there is no direct cycle way between Gloucester and Cheltenham."
He continued: "We recognise all areas of the county need positive changes to cut congestion and pollution, to improve the health and wellbeing of residents and boost the local economy.
"The proposals included in our bid best meet the Department for Transport's criteria for funding, and we believe they will give Gloucestershire the greatest chance of success.
"We have deliberately been as ambitious as possible with this bid and make no apologies for trying to get as much funding as possible, but we may not get everything we've asked for."
Among the schemes picked by the council as part of the bid are:
- The Central Severn Vale - Following the B4063 scheme, in Cheltenham the proposals will focus on Tewkesbury Road, High Street and Gloucester Road. In Gloucester the focus will be on linking the canal towpath to the city centre and London Road with widened cycle lanes and footpaths on Southgate Street and other measures to remove barriers to cycling on Llanthony Road.
- Tewkesbury connections - Extending the existing Newtown cycle link towards the town centre, connecting more of Newtown, Northway and Ashchurch with Tewkesbury CofE Primary School.
- Stroud town centre - Improving walking and cycling access to the town centre from the east and west, reallocating some road space to cyclists with segregated cycle lanes where possible.
- Rural routes - Changes in Lydney and Moreton-in-Marsh will provide permanent off-road routes for bikes and pedestrians which will support local walking and cycling trips as well as tourism.
At its peak, cycling in Gloucestershire increased by 190 per cent during the coronavirus lockdown.
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