Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, GFirst LEP, confirmed the award of nearly £8.5million to complete the next stage of the much-needed transport improvements in Cheltenham. The total value of the scheme, funded by a Government Growth Deal via the GFirst LEP, now stands at £23.6million.
The second part of the West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Scheme (WCTIS) includes improvements such as extra lanes at Benhall Roundabout and Telstar Way, and a new cycling and walking route connecting Cheltenham Railway Station to Arle Court Roundabout.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “Now that we have the full £23.6 million package approved we can move ahead with the second part of the WCTIS scheme, which as well as supporting cycling and walking and reducing congestion, will help accelerate economic growth and boost jobs which is really welcome news, particularly for the county’s future recovery from the current covid-19 pandemic.”
On 17 June Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet agreed to start the search for a contractor for this half of the scheme, and work could be on the ground before Christmas if the work on Arle Court Roundabout and the M5 Junction 11 slip road runs to schedule.
Cllr Moor added: “This is the most prestigious project Gloucestershire County Council has delivered to date, so I want to thank our partners GFirst LEP for making it happen. This scheme will bring significant improvements to all modes of transport in the area, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians.
“Supporting sustainable and active travel is at the heart of this scheme, and I’m excited for the future transport options this scheme unlocks.”
David Owen, Chief Executive Officer of GFirst LEP said: “This is our largest investment to date and supports a hugely important project for us and indeed for the county. Our draft Local Industrial Strategy highlighted our desire to support more cycling and walking initiatives and this investment confirms that commitment”
The new cycleway and walking route will connect Princess Elizabeth Way to the A40, and link Arle Court Roundabout and Benhall Roundabout to the Railway Station. These routes will help promote cycling as an alternative transport option for commuters in the area.