Frequently asked questions

Please note: This document will be updated as the scheme progresses, with more frequently asked questions (with answers) added as they are received.

Purpose and background

What is the purpose of the Cheltenham Transport Plan?

How will Cheltenham benefit economically?

How will public transport users benefit?

How will cyclists and pedestrians benefit?

How was the Cheltenham Transport Plan created and agreed?

How have similar schemes impacted other towns?

What happened in phases 1 – 3?

Traffic changes

What is being introduced as part of Phase 4?

What changes will be made to the trial from January 2019?

When did the trial commence?

What advance warning information did you provide?

How long will the trial run for?

I regularly use the route to be closed, which route should I now take?

Google Maps / My Satnav is still directing me through Boots corner. Can you change this?

I have an enquiry about how to access a property in the restriced area, who should I contact?

I currently have deliveries/collections on one of the access restricted roads between 10am and 6pm, will these still be possible?

I am a tradesperson needing to access a property in the vehicle restriction zone, what should I do?

How can I carry out building repairs or maintenance in the vehicle restriction zone?

Is Post Office Lane One Way?

What is an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order?

How will the changes be enforced?

Why are buses and taxis allowed to use Boots Corner?

Blue badge holders and limited mobility

What provision is being made for Blue Badge holder parking?

I have limited mobility where should I park?

Traffic impacts

Won’t the trial have a disastrous impact on Cheltenham traffic?

How will immediate problems caused by the scheme be dealt with?

Monitoring and assessment

How will the scheme be monitored and when will a review be carried out?

How will the impact on traffic be monitored?

How will air quality be monitored?

When will a decision be made about whether to implement permanently?

What happens if the changes do not work?

Public space improvements

How will Boots Corner be improved?

Feedback

How do I make a comment or enquiry about the Phase 4 - Boots Corner trial?

Have there been any consultations about the Cheltenham Transport Plan (CTP)?

Questions and answers


What is the purpose of the Cheltenham Transport Plan?

The Cheltenham Transport Plan (CTP) is a long-held Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC) policy to improve the quality of life in the town and increase its economic prosperity.

The purpose of the Cheltenham Transport Plan is to:

  • boost the local economy by enhancing the link between the High street and Lower High street
  • improve the town centre environment
  • improve traffic management and air quality and promote the use of greener forms of travel such as walking, cycling and using public transport, particularly for short journeys

How will Cheltenham benefit economically?

Underlying the transport plan is the desire to increase the attraction of Cheltenham town centre for visitors and shoppers, by improving the quality of the environment, especially through the reduction of air pollution, by making it easier to access the Lower High Street from the High Street (and vice versa), and by creating more appealing open spaces which encourage more people to spend more time in the area. Those coming to Cheltenham town centre by car also benefit as the result of easier access from all directions to car parks.

All these will benefit businesses, shops and employers in the town.


How will public transport users benefit?

70% of all people use sustainable modes of travel to reach the town centre – walking, cycling or public transport. Reducing road traffic will enable bus journeys to keep to their timetable. Using public transport will help reduce noise levels and improve air quality.

During September 2018 the number of people using Stagecoach West buses in the town increased by 2% with non-concessionary passenger journeys up by more than 3%. This translates into about 4,000 extra bus trips being made every week.


How will cyclists and pedestrians benefit?

70% of all people use sustainable modes of travel to reach the town centre – walking, cycling or public transport. Reducing road traffic will create a safer and more attractive environment for cyclists and pedestrians, leading to general improvements to physical health and wellbeing. The changes will also make it easier for cyclists to get through the centre of the town.

Cyclists and pedestrians have already benefitted from earlier phases of the Cheltenham Transport Plan:

  • Zebra crossings, providing pedestrian priority on Albion Street and Rodney Road
  • Albion Street westbound bus lane providing improved access for cyclists
  • Cyclists permitted to use the length of the High Street through the new Traffic Regulation Orders
  • Additional informal crossing points on Royal Well Road
  • Upgraded pedestrian crossing on Oriel Road

Initial figures have shown an 84% increase in pedestrian footfall and a 204% increase in bicycles at Boots Corner.


How was the Cheltenham Transport Plan created and agreed?

The plan was first considered by the local Civic Society in 2000, and was subsequently endorsed and adopted by the borough council as part of its Civic Pride Urban Design Framework within the Local Development Framework in 2008.

Gloucestershire County Council (GCC), as local highway authority, is supporting CBC’s aspirations by making the changes to the streets to enable the scheme.

A consultation on the Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) which were required to enable the delivery of the CTP was held in 2014.

The delivery of the CTP was given approval by GCC's cabinet and by CBC at a full council meeting in 2015.

With Phases 1, 2 and 3 now being complete, the experimental TROs which have been introduced form Phase 4 of the scheme.


How have similar schemes impacted other towns?

Studies of over 70 similar schemes looking to reduce general traffic and favour pedestrians, cyclists and buses indicate that predictions of traffic problems are often unnecessarily alarmist and that, given appropriate local circumstances, significant reductions in overall traffic levels can occur.

The approach to the Cheltenham Transport Plan follows best practice advice by implementing in stages and being honest about the likelihood of initial problems.


What happened in phases 1 – 3?

  • Phase 1 introduced changes to Albion Street in July 2016
  • Phase 2 introduced changes to Imperial Square, the Promenade and Rodney Road in January 2017
  • Phase 3 reconfigured Royal Well Road in early 2018 in anticipation of phase 4

Further details can be found on the Cheltenham Transport Plan homepage.


What is being introduced as part of Phase 4?

General traffic is prohibited within the area shown below 24 hours a day. There are exemptions at all times for buses, taxis and other specific vehicles/access requirements which are detailed further below. Loading and unloading associated with premises within the area is permitted between 6pm and 10am.

Map showing restrictions as part of phase 4 of the cheltenham transport plan.

(Click the image for a larger map)

A bus gate, prohibition of driving, one way traffic flows and waiting restrictions will be introduced experimentally as follows:

Bus gate 10am – 6pm

Road Name / Number

Extent

Clarence Street

A46

From a point approximately 14m north east of the centre point of its junction with Imperial Circus to its junction with High Street / North Street

North Street

A46

From its junctions with High Street / Clarence Street to its junction with Albion Street

Bus gate 10am – 6pm exemptions:

  • buses
  • taxis
  • pedal cycles
  • private hire vehicles
  • permit holders:
    • vehicles registered by Gloucestershire County Council accessing off-carriageway parking situated on North Street within the bus gate restriction. Terms and conditions apply
    • funeral vehicles registered by Gloucestershire County Council servicing St Mary’s Church. Terms and conditions apply
  • General vehicle exemptions such as emergency service vehicles, with the addition of Bullion Vehicles and Post Office vehicles specific to this bus gate

Prohibition of driving

Road Name / Number

Extent

Clarence Street

C9012

From the east side of Cheltenham House underground car park access to its junction with Clarence Parade

Clarence Street

A46

From its junction with Clarence Parade to a point approximately 14m Northeast of the centre point of its junction with Imperial Circus.

Pittville Street

490298

Between its junctions with Albion Street and High Street

High Street

491045

Between its junctions with Pittville Street and Promenade / Colonnade

Promenade / Colonnade

491046

Between its junctions with High Street and Imperial Circus

Imperial Circus

490491

Between its junctions with Promenade / Colonnade and Clarence Street

Clarence Parade

A46

Between its junctions with Crescent Terrace and Clarence Street

Prohibition of Driving exemptions:

  • Loading/unloading 6pm – 10am
  • Buses
  • Taxis
  • Pedal cycles
  • Permit holders:
    • Vehicles registered by Gloucestershire County Council as private hire vehicle permit holders. Terms and conditions apply.
    • Vehicles registered by Gloucestershire County Council accessing parking situated on Church Street, accessing off-carriageway parking situated on Post Office Lane and accessing / egressing off-carriageway parking situated on North Street within the Bus Gate restriction. Terms and conditions apply
    • Funeral vehicles registered by Gloucestershire County Council servicing St Mary’s Church. Terms and conditions apply
  • General vehicle exemptions such as emergency service vehicles, with the addition of Bullion Vehicles and Post Office Vehicles specific to this Prohibition of Driving

One way traffic flows

Road Name / Number

Extent

Direction

Clarence Street

C9012

From its junction with St George’s Place to its junction with Crescent Place.

From the east side of Cheltenham House underground car park access to its junction with Clarence Parade.

West to East

Clarence Parade

A46

From its junction with Crescent Terrace to its junction with Clarence Street.

Southwest to Northeast

Crescent Place

490493

From its junction with Clarence Street to its junction with Crescent Terrace.

North to South

Waiting restrictions

Road Name / Number

Extent

No Waiting At Any Time

Clarence Street

A46

On sections of its length between its junctions with Clarence Parade and High Street

Clarence Street

C9012

On sections of its length between its junctions with Crescent Place and Clarence Parade

Clarence Parade

A46

On sections of its length between its junctions with Crescent Terrace and Clarence Street

North Street

A46

On sections of its length between its junctions with High Street and Albion Street

Pittville Street

490298

On a section of its length between its junctions with Albion Street and High Street

High Street

491045

On sections of its length between its junctions with Pittville Street and Promenade

Promenade / Colonnade

491046

On sections of its length between its junctions with High Street and Imperial Circus

Imperial Circus

490491

On sections of its length between its junctions with Promenade and Clarence Street

Taxi Rank (At All Times)

Pittville Street

490298

On sections of its length between its junctions with Albion Street and High Street


What changes will be made to the trial from January 2019?

The 18 month trial makes provision for the scheme to be adjusted in response to feedback from local residents and visitors and data gathered throughout the trial.

Some common themes have emerged in the feedback received in the first six months which highlight access concerns for businesses on Clarence Parade and the western end of Clarence Street, along with observations about blue badge parking in the town centre.

Comments about road signs and markings were recorded early on in the trial, but these have decreased as people get used to the changes and following the additional traffic management measures which were in place during the Autumn.

Other topics included observations about traffic increases on other routes around the town and increases in journey times.

In response to these points, a revised concept (for which a visual plan will be available in due course) will see the start of the trial area moved to a point in Clarence Street between Post Office Lane and Imperial Circus. This would limit the traffic continuing northbound along Clarence Street to buses, taxis and private hire vehicles.

This change will mean Clarence Parade and the western end of Clarence Street will be opened to all vehicles with two way traffic flow.

The Pittville St to North St corridor will be covered by a 24-hour prohibition of driving order, with exemptions for buses, taxis and private hire vehicles with service access between 6pm -10am. 

Included in the changes will be additional blue badge parking bays in Winchcombe Street, immediately north of the High Street, and a no-waiting at any time restriction put on Post Office Lane.

Due to the physical alterations to the highway which will be required and changes to the current experimental legal orders, we are likely to see these changes in place by Spring 2019.

Find out full details on Gloucestershire County Council's website.


When did the trial commence?

The trial began on 28 June 2018.


What advance warning information will you provide?

We initially wrote to properties in the centre of Cheltenham in early 2018. This was done to help inform the development of the trial.

From 4 June 2018, advance information was provided on signs at key sites around Cheltenham.


How long will the trial run for?

It is intended that the Experimental TROs will initially run for a period of 10 months from June 2018. Formal representations can be made in the first six months following commencement of the scheme. A review of the responses received will be undertaken during months seven and eight (December 2018/January 2019) and a recommendation made in month nine (February 2019) on whether to make the TROs permanent, run a revised scheme from 10 months or abandon the scheme altogether. This will be then put to the TRO committee for discussion.

Please note that until the experimental TRO is made permanent, changed or abandoned, it will continue to run for up to 18 months.

Update: January 2019

Following a review of the public feedback and monitoring data, some proposed changes to the ‘Boots Corner’ trial have been agreed between Gloucestershire County Council and the borough council.  In summary, the trial will be extended to Summer 2019, there will be additional blue badge provision and changes to the highway in some areas will take place.


I regularly use the route to be closed, which route should I now take?

Without understanding each individual start point and destination it is difficult to advise precisely on what route to take. Existing alternative route options through the town to the North are available and will remain.

You can now use Google Maps to plot alternative routes as they have updated their mapping and no longer show car routes through Boots Corner.


Google Maps/My Satnav is still directing me through Boots corner. Can you change this?

We informed Google Maps about the restrictions introduced by the trial and they have updated their mapping, so it no longer show car routes through Boots Corner. The national body that communicates map changes to SatNav companies (GeoPlace) does not pick up on any temporary or experimental closures. They will only do this if the closure becomes permanent at some point in the future.

Digital devices have an advisory function only. Drivers must not rely upon them instead of in place road markings and signs.


I have an enquiry about how to access a property in the restricted area, who should I contact?

Please contact us using our online feedback form at gloucestershire.gov.uk/CTP-phase4


I currently have deliveries/collections on one of the access restricted roads between 10am and 6pm, will these still be possible?

Deliveries or collections will only be possible on the access restricted roads during the 6pm – 10am loading/unloading period. This will mean that any deliveries/collections will need to be arranged accordingly to fit in with this period. Alternatively, there are many loading bays located just outside the restricted zone – please consult our town centre loading bay map.

Loading / Unloading is also permitted on double yellow lines outside of the restricted zone as long as there are no additional loading restrictions which are indicated by additional yellow markings on the kerb and upright signs setting out restrictions (see Highway Code rule 247). Parking restrictions for roads around Cheltenham town centre can be found on the map of Gloucestershire Parking Restrictions.


I am a tradesperson needing to access a property in the exclusion zone, what should I do?

Please contact Gloucestershire Highways on 08000 514 514, email highways@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Postal: CTP Phase 4, Gloucestershire Highways, Block 5, 5th Floor, Shire Hall, Bearland, Gloucester, GL1 2TG


How can I carry out building repairs or maintenance within the vehicle restriction zone?

As long as the vehicle is required for the building maintenance work within the restriction zone - for example for regularly accessing tools, materials or equipment -  then access is permitted. Any vehicle user may need to provide evidence that the vehicle is required to carry out that work.


Is Post Office Lane One Way?

As part of a previous phase of the Cheltenham Transport Plan scheme, Post Office Lane was legally made one way in a southbound direction.


What is an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order?

Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) are the necessary legal orders required for things such as one way traffic flows, bus lanes, waiting restrictions and speed limits. Experimental TROs can be used as a way to introduce changes on an experimental basis, before deciding on what to implement permanently.

Experimental TROs can run for a maximum of 18 months. Revisions to the Experimental TROs can be made within this 18 month period.

An Experimental TRO is made under Sections 9 and 10 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.


How will the changes be enforced?

There is an enforcement camera at Clarence Street; anyone found driving through Boots Corner in an unauthorised vehicle will be issued with a penalty charge notice. This is a standard charge of £60, or £30 if paid within two weeks.


Why are buses and taxis allowed to use Boots Corner?

Had all traffic been removed from Boots Corner key bus routes would have been unable to service the town centre, and as buses along with pedestrians and cyclists make up the bulk of town centre visits, this would have adversely impacted upon the vibrancy of the central area. The exemption for taxis ensures that access for all is maintained, along with buses, taxis cater for many individuals with disabilities.

One of the ambitions of the transport plan is to encourage individuals to consider other forms of transport where they have the choice.


I'm a blue badge holder, where can I park?

Blue Badge means that you can park in more places, for longer and, in some cases, free of charge.

In consultation with the Cheltenham Disability Forum the county council created new blue badge spaces in:

  • Crescent Terrace
  • Inner Promenade
  • Grosvenor Place South
  • Imperial Square (Eastern arm)
  • Clarence Street

Download the Cheltenham town centre disabled bays map for locations of on-street parking bays.

Blue badge parking is available in all Cheltenham Borough Council car parks.

Please check individual car park websites or signs for charges. For those car parks which do not charge, a blue badge must be displayed. If no disabled parking bays are available, blue badge holders may park in any other car park bay. Further information about the Blue Badge scheme can be found on the GOV.UK website

Shopmobility provides wheelchairs and mobility scooters in the town centre. Registered users can park in a pre-agreed location (such as the High Street or Chelt Walk car parks or another location) and have a pre-booked wheelchair or mobility scooter delivered to them quickly. Call 01242 255333 or email shopmobility@cheltenham.gov.uk for more detailed information. The scheme costs £29.71 for a whole year’s membership (as at June 2018).

Stagecoach has confirmed that all buses operating in Cheltenham can accommodate wheelchairs and many routes drop off and pick-up right in the heart of town, for example Pittville Street, Clarence Street and the Promenade.


I have limited mobility where should I park?

Depending on your destination you may wish to park in a Cheltenham Borough Council car park or use on-street parking around the town or an alternative car park within Cheltenham. Please check the individual car park websites or signs for charges.

Shopmobility offers a scheme whereby any Shopmobility registered person who parks in a pre-agreed location (such as the CBC High Street or Chelt Walk car parks or another location) will have a pre-booked wheelchair or mobility scooter delivered to them quickly. Call 01242 255333 or email shopmobility@cheltenham.gov.uk for more detailed information. The scheme costs £29.71 for a whole year’s membership (as at June 2018).

Public transport may also be an alternative. Stagecoach has confirmed that all buses operating in Cheltenham, including Park and Ride buses, can accommodate wheelchairs and many routes drop off and pick-up right in the heart of town for example Pittville Street, Clarence Street and the Promenade.


Won’t the trial have a disastrous impact on Cheltenham traffic?

Boots Corner was temporarily closed for a week in May 2009. Traffic surveys were undertaken before, during and after the closure at a total of 24 locations across the town to understand the impacts of the closure.

In summary, the data showed that over a 24 hour period, the 11 of the 24 roads surveyed experienced increases of less than 10%, and five showed significant decreases. Eight roads had increases in traffic in excess of 10%, although three of the eight are A-roads.


How are immediate problems caused by the scheme being dealt with?

Any issues are considered and an assessment is carried out as to whether the issue is a significant issue and whether it needs to be addressed:

  • in the short or medium term during the experiment
  • after the experimental period, if the experiment is made permanent

or whether further monitoring, evaluation or assessment is needed.

For example, a change has already been made to the timing of the traffic lights at the junction of Swindon Road and St George’s Road in response to public comments. Further monitoring of this junction is taking place.

When considering traffic light changes a few weeks of data needs to be available and modelling of the knock-on impacts on the local roads must be done. Trying to modify sequences to respond to short term flow peaks or changes may be counter productive.

Gloucestershire County Council has a responsibility for road safety and although we don’t expect any serious safety issues to arise, the county council are prepared to react if necessary.


How will the scheme be monitored and when will a review be carried out?

The scheme will be monitored and assessed using a combination of methods:

  • comments received from the public
  • traffic flow and journey time data across the town
  • measurement of town centre pedestrian footfall, cycle usage and wheelchair usage
  • measurement of pedestrians seated and bicycles parked
  • the numbers of passengers using public transport
  • air quality monitoring
  • a survey of public and business perceptions
  • observations and thoughts of GCC and Gloucestershire Highways officers and qualified independent road safety auditors

Bear in mind that some of the measures are subject to random factors (for example, air quality monitoring can be heavily influenced by the season and the weather) so we will need to review several months of data once initial disruption has settled down before reaching valid conclusions.

The scheme will be undertaken for a 6 month minimum period and then reviewed in 2019.


How will the impact on traffic be monitored?

Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) is monitoring traffic flow at 27 sites in Cheltenham.  Most of these sites use vehicle detection loops that are embedded in the road.  Some of the sites have radar devices fixed to lighting columns or traffic sign posts which detect the vehicles and gather information on volume, speed and vehicle size.

Once GCC have collected the data, this will be analysed and compared with pre-trial data from 2015.


How will air quality be monitored?

Air quality is being monitored at 20 locations in the town centre. The monitors record the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which gives an indication of a wider range of atmospheric pollutants. View a map of monitoring locations.

There are 7 new monitoring locations (the blue dots on the map) which have been placed to monitor air quality at areas which may be impacted by trial. Four of these locations are points we used to use and have re-started, so we can compare data to previous years.

We will be comparing average annual levels against previous years’ readings to see how air quality around the town is affected by the trial closure.

Read more information about air quality monitoring in Cheltenham.


When will a decision be made about whether to implement permanently?

Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC) and Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) will jointly determine the success of the trial. CBC will consider the economic impact on the town centre against the original analysis submitted when the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) bid was made in 2012.

GCC will look in detail at the traffic impacts associated with the trial. Its cross party Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) committee will consider the results and make recommendations to GCC cabinet as the democratically elected body to make decisions on such matters.

The decision making process will take place after the trial has been underway for a minimum of 6 weeks.


What happens if the impact of the new road layout is worse than the anticipated benefits?

The changes are being introduced as a trial and could therefore be withdrawn if feedback and monitoring indicates they are not successful. An initial decision is likely to be taken in February 2019.

It is inevitable that some disruption will occur in the early stages. We expect drivers will take several weeks or months to adjust to the road changes and therefore monitoring results will not be reliable until several months into the trial.


How will Boots Corner be improved?

Improvements will be made to the space around Boots Corner as part of the trial, including:

Three additional cycle racks have been provided to replace the cycle parking lost by removal of the pedestrian guard railing. These are located on the High Street outside Coop Travel adjacent to the existing racks.

We will be fitting new bench seating to the fountain plinth whilst safety audits are run on the planters and seating proposed for areas of redundant road space.

These improvements will be installed in autumn 2018 and will be moved to other locations around Cheltenham if the trial is not continued.

They are intended to give a first impression of the long-term changes which could be introduced if the trial is made permanent, aimed at making the area more attractive to shoppers and visitors.


How do I make a comment or enquiry about the Phase 4 - Boots Corner Trial?

Before making an enquiry or comment please look at the scheme plan and Traffic Regulation Order documentation at gloucestershire.gov.uk/ctp and read through the FAQs on this page.

All formal representations received so far informed the trial changes for the altered Phase Four amendment scheme, which is subject to a new set of Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (ETROs) beginning 3 June 2019.

New comments will be used to assess the Phase 4 amendments which take effect from 3 June 2019. Comments made before 3 June will be retained for reporting purposes by Gloucestershire County Council.

If you would then like to make an enquiry, comment or formal representation, please do so:

  • online at gloucestershire.gov.uk/ctp-phase4 or
  • by writing to CTP Phase 4 Amendment, Parking & TRO Team, Block 5, 6th Floor, Shire Hall, Bearland, Gloucester, GL1 2TG

Please ensure your enquiry or comments provide a suitable level of detail to enable us to fully understand who you are, the context of your comments and what your comments are about.

We recommend that you give the new highway arrangements and ETROs a period of 6 to 8 weeks from commencement before making a formal representation with your views. This 6 to 8 week period will allow traffic patterns to normalise and allow a fair assessment of the effects of the new arrangements. Please ensure you look at the Traffic Regulation Order documentation at gloucestershire.gov.uk/ctp and read through the FAQs on this page before making a formal representation.


Have there been any consultations about the Cheltenham Transport Plan (CTP)?

The CTP and the Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) required to deliver elements of the plan have been widely consulted on since summer 2013.

Pre-consultation – July/August 2013 - an initial CTP scheme public consultation was carried out in the summer of 2013. During this consultation 16,000 leaflets were hand delivered to properties in the central part of Cheltenham. People who attended one of the 13 public exhibitions were also able to receive the leaflets along with further information. Leaflets were also made available at the libraries and Cheltenham Borough Council’s offices. 1,496 questionnaire responses were received following the consultation, with 73% of respondents either fully supportive of the proposals or supporting them with some reservations.

The first TRO consultation took place in spring 2014. A second revised TRO consultation was carried out in late 2014, taking into account the comments received in the first consultation. The second TRO consultation provided additional detail on the TROs and scope of the works and provided further opportunity to make representations on these.

Given the volume of representations, history of public interest and profile of the project, the proposed Traffic Regulation Orders were considered by the Traffic Regulation Committee. The Committee met in January 2015 to take public comment and consider the proposed TROs. Members made the recommendation to adopt the TROs making changes to the Cheltenham inner-ring road and to adopt on an experimental basis the orders restricting access at Boots Corner.

This was endorsed by Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet in July 2015.

Further information on the trial restriction proposals was sent out in February 2018 to over 1,000 addresses within the town centre, to help identify any significant issues in advance.