Published on 12th July 2019
A 3D animation has been designed to reveal a ‘new look’ High Street for Cheltenham using computer-generated images.
The fly-through allows residents, visitors and organisations to see for themselves the scale of the improvements already made and ambitious ideas for the future.
Together with the £23million John Lewis investment and £1million renovations along the High Street, the video also reveals the proposed next phase of the works at Cambray Place and on the Strand.
The video can be viewed at www.cheltenham.gov.uk and the council would like feedback on the video and to gauge views on priorities for future investment on the High Street.
There is a short online feedback form and responses will be used to help the council build upon the concepts for the future.
The fly-through shows the ambition behind the Boots Corner changes and how the area could look if traffic reduction is made permanent. A large, open public space can be seen with trees, water features and seating, reflecting suggestions made by the public during a consultation which took place in the summer of 2013.
The existing pelican crossing at Boots Corner remains, in response to a request from the town’s Accessibility Forum. Buses and taxis can be seen passing through the area which is now freely enjoyed by pedestrians and cyclists. The connection is then made with the lower High Street, which recently benefited from pocket parks and the removal of unwanted railings, heading towards the newly constructed steps which will allow pedestrians up on to the Honeybourne Bridge.
Cllr Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, says: ‘’The fly-through visually showcases the improvements that have already happened along the High Street, as well as our aspiration for other parts of the town centre including Boots Corner. It’s important to note that we have not worked up full designs for the space as we need to await the outcome of the trial, however the fly-through really helps to envisage how the area could look and how beneficial connectivity is for the high street, by bringing all parts of the town centre together.
‘’We are pleased that what we are seeing at the moment is more pedestrians, cyclists and bus travellers. We know that since the trial began 5,000 more bus journeys are happening per week. This contributes to our ambition of reducing the town’s carbon footprint long-term with overall bus travel up 2 per cent against a national decline of 4 per cent.”
Cllr McKinlay went on to say: “Cheltenham continues to grow as a destination with many big name brands recently opening here, as well as increased footfall to the Brewery Quarter and now a multi-million pound cinema investment. This investment is bucking the national trend for high streets.
‘’Almost a million pounds has been invested into the first phase of the upgrade to this area and it’s a pleasure to see our on-going plans to revitalise the high street come to fruition. With the new planters adding biodiversity into an otherwise hard landscape area, new seating and an improved shared cycle way, we have a more enjoyable environment for pedestrians and cyclists.’’
Cllr Nigel Moor, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member for environment and planning, added: ‘’Through its Local Transport Plan Review, Gloucestershire County Council is examining ways to make our town centres more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists. We look forward to working with Cheltenham Borough and Gloucestershire`s other districts as part of that process.’’
The council – together with partners including the county council, the BID, Chamber of Commerce and Accessibility Forum – will use the on-going transport plan trial to share ideas and continue receiving feedback on the wider scheme. Having an understanding of the public’s aspirations for Boots Corner as the town’s ‘centre piece’ will allow the borough and county councils to move ahead with any permanent changes once the outcome of the trial is determined.
Members of the project team will attend events locally and paper copies of the feedback form will be available in the foyer of the Municipal Offices, where there is also a display providing more information about the High Street flythrough.
This early phase of engagement about the High Street will run for four weeks until Friday 9 August 2019.
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Notes: Improving the environment, traffic management and boosting the local economy is at the heart of the Cheltenham Transport Plan (CTP), the borough council’s vision for a better town centre.
Encouraging people to consider other modes of travel supports government policy and also supports the county council’s transport plan objectives.
For detail on the High street investments please visit www.cheltenham.gov.uk/high-street-refresh
Share your views: For more information about phase 4 of the transport plan – Boots Corner - including revised maps showing the amendments visit www,gloucestershire.gov.uk/ctp
Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucestershire County Council continue to welcome feedback about the wider scheme, which can be provided through the online survey at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/ctp-phase4
For more details about the phased High Street works – which are not dependent on the trial outcome, visit www.cheltenham.gov.uk/high-street-refresh This includes the next phase which will see improvements to Cambray and the Strand later this year.