Travel and transport

bicycles

Did you know?

In 2018, transport on roads in Cheltenham Borough accounted for 22% of the borough’s total emissions according to the government’s reporting of carbon emissions by local authority area.

According to 2011 Census data 78% of travel to work trips to and from Cheltenham were taken by car and many of these trips were less than 2km (1.24 miles).

Leaving your car at home not only reduces emissions but also reduces congestion – remember when you are stuck in traffic you actually are the traffic – and improves air quality and the local environment.

Choose to walk or cycle

Termed ‘active travel’, walking and cycling, as well as being zero emissions, is great for health and wellbeing. 

Check out our ‘Visit Cheltenham’ website (it’s not just for visitors!) for information about cycling in Cheltenham including routes, bike parking and even bike hire. There’s information about walking on there too.

Cycling and walking are both covered in the Cheltenham Active Travel Map and if you live in Up Hatherley, Benhall or The Reddings there’s a Family Active Travel Map specifically for your area of the town.

Electric bikes

If the thought of riding a good old fashioned push bike puts you off, have you considered a bit of battery-assisted pedal power?  Riding an e-bike instead of taking your car will not only lower your carbon footprint but it will also build confidence in your fitness and ability and mean you can zip up hills and cruise over tough terrain without too much effort.

Electric scooters

Fancy zipping around town on an e-scooter (safely of course!)?  Gloucestershire County Council has partnered with Zwings to run a trial in Cheltenham for twelve months from October 2020; more information is available on our e-scooter trial page.  Please note, e-scooters which aren’t hired through this trial are still illegal to ride on public roads in the UK.

Zwings e-scooters are available to hire from numerous locations around the town and can be located on the Zwings app map. All you need to do is download the Zwings app from the Apple or Google Play store, create an account and be ready to verify your driving licence.

To hire an e-scooter you must have a minimum of a provisional driving licence which will be validated before you start your first ride.  You will need to scan the front and back of the driving license followed by taking a quick selfie. If you are unable to verify your ID you can send the support team at Zwings, support@zwings.co.uk, a selfie and a picture of your driving licence and they will verify it manually. 

Public transport

Bus travel

Take a form of transport that reduces your carbon emissions and get in a little exercise at the same time with the walk to and from the bus stop.     

And if you haven’t caught the bus recently, well, things might have changed a bit! 

Stagecoach West operate most bus services in Cheltenham. They’ve recently introduced contactless payments on all of their buses, so there are more ways to pay for your ticket; you can simply jump on board with your contactless card, tap and go. You can also buy your ticket in advance using the Stagecoach Bus App (available to download from the Apple and Google Play store). Pay safely and securely using your card or PayPal and your tickets will be ready to use instantly on your phone. 

If you travel between Cheltenham and Gloucester you can use the service 94. This Stagecoach Gold service offers free Wi-Fi, USB chargers and leather seats, so you can travel in style. 

For more information about timetables, bus stops near you, planning journeys, tickets, live bus times and much more visit the Stagecoach Bus website or download the App.   

Other services provided across the town include the Pulhams Coaches who run the 99 service, operating between Cheltenham General Hospital and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

Park and ride

If you can’t get into town on the bus from where you live and it’s too far to walk or cycle, you could opt for park and ride, dropping your car off outside the town centre and enjoying a stress-free ride into town.  Stagecoach West run the park and ride services at Arle Court (GL51 6SY, near M5 Junction 11) and Cheltenham Racecourse (GL50 4SH).  Comprehensive parking and timetable information is available on the Stagecoach Bus website.

Arle Court is owned and maintained by Gloucestershire County Council. Facilities at this site include CCTV, disabled parking, parent and child parking, cycle parking and electric vehicle charging point. (Please note, this area is currently undergoing considerable road improvements – date: Jan 2021)

The 99 service connecting Cheltenham and Gloucester hospitals, operated by Pulhams Coaches, also calls in at Arle Court park and ride. 

Coach and rail travel

For a comfortable, lower emissions way of getting to your destination further afield, have you considered going by train or by coach and making the journey part of your experience?

Visit Cheltenham has comprehensive information about coach travel to and from Cheltenham’s Royal Well bus and coach station.

Cheltenham Spa railway station is operated by Great Western Rail and can connect you directly to Plymouth all the way to Aberdeen! For information on the station and its facilities you can find them on the National Rail website.

Travelling by car

Your driving style

If you do need to travel by car, you can still make a difference by changing the way you drive.  Ecodriving is a driving style that reduces fuel bills, cuts carbon emissions and lowers accident rates. It is about becoming a better driver rather than sacrificing performance and enjoyment for efficient driving. The techniques are straightforward and easy to implement:

  • Drive smoothly
  • Shift up early to a higher gear
  • Switch off your engine when stationary
  • Slow down
  • Use windows instead of air conditioning
  • Regularly check your tyre pressures
  • Remove roof racks and boxes
  • Lighten your load

The Energy Saving Trust explains more about why all these things help to reduce fuel consumption.

If you are a business owner with multiple drivers, find out more about the benefits for your fleet and subsidised ecodriving training. 

Car choice

You will probably have seen on the news that the UK Government has said new cars and vans powered wholly by petrol and diesel will not be sold in the UK from 2030, but some hybrids will still be allowed.

If you are thinking about making your next car an electric one the Energy Saving Trust has comprehensive information about different types of electric vehicles and the benefits of switching to electric.

One of the worries about buying an electric car is the availability of charging points. There are already a number of charging points around the town and we are actively exploring installing more of these. If you want to go further afield, Zap Map is an interactive system, available on your computer and as an App, which holds information about the location of thousands of public charging points all around the country. It has a route planner, payment options and lots of other handy information too.   

If you are unable to buy an electric vehicle now, the government also publishes searchable information about the fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and tax bands for new and used cars to help you make an informed choice about your next car. 

Grants available

Vehicles

You can get a discount on the price of brand new low-emission vehicles through a grant the government gives to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers.  Currently, the maximum grant available for cars is £3,000. 

Grants are also available for motorcycles, mopeds, vans, taxis, large vans and trucks.

Home electric vehicle charging

The government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) provides grant funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle charge points at domestic properties across the UK. There is also a voucher-based scheme for installing charge points at workplaces. 

Flying

If you fly for work or for pleasure, this is probably responsible for the largest part of your carbon footprint.  This is because, mile for mile, flying is the most damaging way to travel for the climate.     

  • A return flight from London to San Francisco emits around 5.5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per person
  • A return flight from London to Berlin emits around 0.6 tonnes CO2e

If you are flying, there are ways you can reduce your carbon footprint from flying – have a look at this short video.