The strategic connections between Cheltenham and other urban areas are vitally important for Cheltenham’s economic health. This strategy does not deal in detail with these connections but rather identifies their importance and the further work ongoing or required.
Strategic cycle link - Gloucester
Work is ongoing to develop the strategic cycle link between Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham and Gloucester. This is an important link and would connect into the Cycle Cheltways network. It will also provide access to the Park and Interchange site at Arle Court. We expect the cost of this link to be in the £5 million to £20 million band.
Junction 10 of the M5 does not currently allow all movements. Vehicles coming to Cheltenham from the south therefore have to use junction 11 as their only motorway access to Cheltenham. For access to Kingsditch Industrial estate this puts pressure on Princess Elizabeth Way and routes HGV traffic through the urban area. The development of North West Cheltenham and west Cheltenham will add further travel demand and improving both motorway access capacity and resilience will support the delivery of these areas of development whilst helping mitigate their impact on the existing urban area.
Rail service enhancements
Alongside the development of a station masterplan, we also need to explore the opportunities for improving rail service levels and the economic impact of this. Network Rail will need to be consulted as well as the train operating companies and the Department for Transport, with the goal of setting the specification for whatever replaces the GWR franchise in the post Williams review period. The options and economic benefits of improvements to rail service patterns and the consequential infrastructure requirements at and around the station will also need to be explored.
The Metro West is currently proposed to run to Yate and possibly Gloucester. Extending to Cheltenham should be looked into.
Oxford to Cambridge corridor
A considerable amount of work is being progressed to develop improved road and rail connections and open up new areas for development along the Oxford/Cambridge east west spine.
There are potential benefits for Cheltenham to be better connected to the east and the options for and benefits of this should be explored.
Central Severn Vale strategic bus routes
There is a need to improve public transport take up across the wider Central Severn Vale both to accommodate and provide access to areas of growth and also encourage mode shift more widely. A plan to deliver this strategic public transport core should be developed in parallel to the next stage of the development of the Joint Core Strategy.