Revitalising our town centre – the benefits of cycling
Published on 10th July 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.
The trial scheme at Boots Corner (CTP phase four) is now in place under an experimental traffic regulation order. Buses, taxis and private hire vehicles, cyclists and vehicles with specific exemptions are still allowed access through this area.
This is part of a series of improvements to meet the ambitions of Cheltenham and set the borough’s place as a destination.
The council is keen to encourage residents and visitors to consider their journey and to help play a role in revitalising this key area by making use of sustainable travel where possible.
To assist with this, additional cycle racks have been placed on the High Street by Coop Travel until new cycle racks can be installed around Boots Corner, and a map showing all the new cycle stations around the town is available on the council’s website
Cllr Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, says: “With the trial scheme at Boots Corner now live, we’d really like residents to consider using alternatives methods of transport to the car, especially as our data shows that half of journeys to work in Cheltenham are less than three miles.
“Cycling and walking, particularly for short trips, brings many benefits such as cleaner air, less traffic congestion, and healthier lifestyles - as well as saving money on travel costs. We hope that the improvement work we’re doing to the High Street, such as the new cycle stations, will help give a better experience to people who want to cycle in to town.”
Nicholas King, managing director of Formal Investments Ltd, who is carrying out a number of developments in Cheltenham, says: “People are much happier to walk and cycle in to work, especially as they’re coming to work from relatively close areas. We believe that the Boots Corner plan will help make walking and cycling in to the town centre even safer which is why we are in support of the scheme.
“In the last ten years, we have seen a huge increase in demand for town centre office space - which has resulted in more people coming into town for work and meetings - and the cycle facilities that go with them; cycle bays and facilities are now outweighing demand for car parking spaces.
“In Honeybourne Place, our luxury office development in the prestigious St James’ business quarter, we’re putting in 70 cycle bays and high-end facilities such as quality locker rooms, showers and changing.
“Going forward over the next ten years, we want to be at the forefront of promoting sustainable healthier alternatives in the areas we develop and further reduce the reliance on vehicle travel.”
Further information about cycling around Cheltenham, cycle route maps, clubs, and tips for staying safe, is available from The Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Cycling Campaign. The group takes an active part in the local road safety committee and cycle forums, and is consulted by the county and borough councils on a wide range of issues, from waiting restrictions to large schemes.
Andre Curtis from Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Cycling Campaign, says: “Cycling is a healthy, enjoyable, quiet, economical and pollution-free means of transport. Cycling in and around Cheltenham has never been easier and most journeys in are under five miles - often much shorter – and that's ideal.”
Residents and visitors are encouraged to share their feedback about the trial scheme formally at gloucestershire.gov.uk/ctp.
Media enquiries on the development and aims of the Cheltenham Transport Plan should be made to Jemima Lawson, 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 is prohibited from the section of Clarence Street through ‘Boots Corner’, North Street, Clarence Parade and Pittville Street to Imperial Circus. There are exemptions for buses, taxis, cycles, loading or unloading between 6pm and 10am and some other exempt vehicles such as emergency services.
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.
Gloucestershire County Council (GCC), as local highway authority is making the changes to the streets to enable the scheme.