The importance of Cheltenham town centre in defining Cheltenham as a destination has been discussed since the early 2000s. The Civic Pride initiative sparked the detailed debate, with the objective of makeing Cheltenham the most beautiful town in England.
The core principles of the plan are:
- to support the ongoing social and economic regeneration of the town
- to promote good design
- to put people before traffic
- to promote accessibility by improving pedestrian and cycling linkages
We have been engaging with our residents, businesses and visitors since 2006 specifically on reshaping the movement of traffic around Cheltenham town centre.
This is all part of a wider vision to deliver high quality streets that appeal to all and provide us with a platform that focusses on connectivity of places, spaces and people.
Between 2006 and 2008, three major public consultations took place to test views, ideas and options around:
- how the transport system in Cheltenham town centre could be more efficient, free the movement of public transport and improve connectivity
- encouraging people not to use their car for unnecessary journeys, particularly short ones
- how traffic could be reduced in the town centre to improve accessibility for walking, cycling, disabled people, public transport users and businesses
- reclaiming street space to create better public spaces and enhance the character of the town centre
- reducing pollution by reducing overall traffic volumes
- removing barriers which restrict easy access to car parks
- creating a more attractive shopping and business environment
- revitalising the town centre and encourage investment
Public consultation took place in 2014 on proposed traffic regulation orders. This was followed by Gloucestershire County Council Cabinet and Cheltenham Borough Council decisions in 2015 to:
- support a phased schedule of transport network changes of the inner ring road
- followed by a trial closure of Boots Corner using experimental traffic regulation orders
Cheltenham is a place that has thrived through centuries of change and is clearly a place our residents and businesses are proud of.
Whilst we fully acknowledge there are concerns around the interventions set out by the Cheltenham Transport Plan, as a council we are committed to helping the town centre grow and prosper. Our Place Strategy was approved in March 2018, this sets out our ambitions and drive to deliver a place in which everyone thrives.