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£3.5m boost for county cyclists on the cards


Highways England is looking at a £3.5m package of improvements to create a cycle-superhighway between Gloucester and Cheltenham.


Gloucestershire County Council has helped to fund a Highways England study which looked at better ways for people to cycle between the city and the town. 

The study supports a £3.5m package of improvements to the B4063, which runs alongside the A40 Golden Valley Bypass.

The county council is keen to get more people cycling, especially between Cheltenham and Gloucester, a popular route for commuters.

To help make cycle travel quicker and safer the council has invested £28,000 into a Highways England study, which could lead to up to £3.5m being invested by the Government in cycle infrastructure between Cheltenham and Gloucester.

The study which has taken place over the last year, looked at a number of different solutions to provide a better link between Gloucester and Cheltenham for cyclists.

The study looked at factors such as safety, accessibility, directness, personal security, planning issues, environmental impact, and cost. 

The plan would see changes to signage, junctions, and road layout to make it easier for people to choose to cycle. 

The proposal will now be considered in more detail by Highways England.

Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said, "We want to make it easier and safer for people to choose to cycle. Cycling helps reduce congestion and improve levels of fitness and well being. This is an important first step in delivering a major upgrade to a crucial link in Gloucestershire's cycle network."

A spokesman for Highways England said,  "The cycling community are key customers for us and important in encouraging sustainable travel and reducing congestion. Although we still have a lot to do in terms of determining that the study proposal will represent good value for money, the potential scheme is an exciting prospect for us to be able deliver an improvement in a slightly different way that enhances safety and encourages cycling. The process to date has been collaborative with Gloucestershire County Council colleagues and we look forward to continuing this relationship"

Over the summer Highways England will look at their preferred option in more detail to see if upgrading the road will provide value for money.  

If the proposals are considered to be worthwhile, it is hoped that individual schemes could be designed in detail, and consulted on, over the next year.

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