Revitalising our town centre – the benefits of public transport
Published on 20th June 2018
Improving the environment and traffic management, and boosting the local economy is at the heart of the Cheltenham Transport Plan (CTP), Cheltenham Borough Council’s (CBC) vision for a better town centre.
From Thursday 28 June, the trial closure of Boots Corner (CTP phase four) to through traffic will be carried out under an experimental traffic regulation order.
Buses, taxis, cyclists and vehicles with specific exemptions will still be allowed access through this area.
The council is keen to encourage residents and visitors to consider their journey and make use of public transport where possible, and help play a role in revitalising this key area for the future.
Cllr Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, says: “With phase four of our transport scheme about to start, we’re aware that there are some concerns over why we’re still planning to allow public transport in to the town centre.
“We want to reassure residents that we are listening and there are numerous reasons behind this decision. We know that more people come into the town centre by bus than any other means.
“We’re keen to encourage alternatives to private vehicles especially as our data shows that half of journeys to work in Cheltenham are less than three miles.
“Using public transport as an alternative to the car, particularly for short trips, brings many benefits such as cleaner air and less traffic congestion as well as encouraging healthy lifestyles such as walking and cycling.”
Stagecoach runs 70 buses which carry about 10.2 million passenger journeys each year, making up around 2.7 million miles.
During the past two years £4m has been invested in 16 new Gold double decker buses for Stagecoach’s 94 service and Arle Court Park and Ride. Additional buses are timetabled during large events in the town such as raceweek.
Rupert Cox, managing director, Stagecoach West, says: “Our services are part of the solution to rising congestion and worsening air pollution, and offer greener, smarter and better value travel.
“Since 2016, our newest buses have lower emissions than new diesel cars. They all have an auto cut-off and our drivers are rewarded with a bonus if they use environmentally friendly driving measures in their braking, manoeuvres, acceleration and turning, which is monitored through bus software.
“In Cheltenham we work with the BID to offer town centre employees discounted bus tickets, we offer special discounts to under 19 year olds, and also to University of Gloucestershire students and staff on the university’s bus routes.
Visit the council’s web pages for more information about public transport and sustainable travel, including the council’s Shopmobility scheme - a service for people of all ages with mobility difficulties, local bus services, park and ride, Thinktravel, community and concessionary travel, taxis, and travelling by bike.
For more information about the Cheltenham Transport Plan, including frequently asked questions, visit https://www.cheltenham.gov.uk/transport-plan.
Gloucestershire County Council (GCC), as local highway authority is making the changes to the streets to enable the scheme.
Residents and visitors are encouraged to share their feedback about the trial scheme formally at gloucestershire.gov.uk/ctp when it goes live on 28 June 2018.
Media enquiries on the development and aims of the Cheltenham Transport Plan should be made to Laura Carter, Cheltenham Borough Council, 01242 264154, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Media enquiries on the highways works being carried out for the Cheltenham Transport Plan should be made to Gloucestershire County Council, 01452 427550, email email@example.com
The Cheltenham Transport Plan has been split into phases to limit disruption. Phases one, two and three are now complete and monitoring shows they are working well.
Phase four focuses on changes to movement through the area known locally as ‘Boots Corner’.
During the trial, general traffic will be prohibited from the section of Clarence Street through ‘Boots Corner’, North Street, Clarence Parade and Pittville Street to Imperial Circus. There will be exemptions for buses, taxis, cycles, loading or unloading between 6pm and 10am and some other exempt vehicles such as emergency services.
There will be initial disruption whilst the trial closure of Boots Corner is bedding in, but in the end the new road layout will make the town centre better for all
Public transport needs to be allowed right into the centre as we know that more people come into the town centre by bus than any other means. The scheme will allow for better connectivity between the High Street and Lower High Street for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.
The council’s Shopmobility scheme enables residents and visitors to register and pre-book wheelchairs, motorised scooters or other required equipment. A ‘meet and greet’ service is available by arrangement. Call 01242 255333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register and use the service.