Contractor appointed to start landmark transport scheme
Gloucestershire County Council has appointed Knights Brown as the contractors to bring the first half of the West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Scheme (WCTIS) to life.
From early June 2020, work starts on several key junctions along the A40 corridor in West Cheltenham to allow better access for sustainable travel options and improve traffic flows. The work in total will last for about eighteen months.
This scheme is split into several parts. The first part involves Arle Court roundabout and roads leading to it, including the dual carriageway from M5 Junction 11. These works include:
- an extra lane around the roundabout with corresponding additional lanes on the A40 approaches and exits
- a new bus lane on the B4063 approach from Staverton and bus lane improvements; giving cyclists and those on public transport a better journey.
- the M5 Junction 11 southbound slip road and A40 eastbound carriageway (towards Cheltenham) will be widened
- widening of Hatherley Lane on the Southside of the roundabout
- a dedicated bus link from the Arle Court Park and Ride onto the A40 towards Gloucester
- localised pedestrian and cycle improvements
The second part, which is scheduled to start in 2021, includes improvements on the A40 between Arle Court and Gloucester Road/Lansdown Road junction and will include widening at Benhall roundabout and Telstar Way, giving all road users better access in this area. There will be significant cycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements from Arle Court to Cheltenham Railway Station in this stage.
Usually, residents are invited to a ‘meet the contractor’ event, where they can find out more about the scheme. Due to the Coronavirus, meeting face to face is not safe at this time, so a digital exhibition and “Q&A” event will take place online instead. Questions for the webinar should be submitted in advance by email.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment and planning, said, “This is the biggest transport improvement scheme the county council has taken forward to date, and meeting the contractor is a large part of building a relationship with residents and businesses that have to live near the scheme.
“I hope a digital alternative, which is the first of its kind for us, will help to inform people while keeping them safe at this time.
“Gloucestershire needs a fit for purpose road network which will cater for the needs of all road users, not just vehicles. This scheme will tackle existing congestion while supporting sustainable transport going forward.”
The £22 million of funding for this transport scheme has come from government via GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership. The transport scheme works will improve traffic flow and public transport options. The work also contributes to long term plans for the area, opening up employment land as part of the Joint Core Strategy, which includes the proposed Cyber Park and Cyber Innovation Centre.
David Owen, CEO of GFirst LEP, said: “Cheltenham is internationally recognised as the ‘cradle of cyber innovation for the UK’. Our investment of £22million is the largest of all our project investments and will fund the necessary road infrastructure to deliver this ambitious project. The cyber-tech sector even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic offered the county huge potential, but moving forward, the sector will be even more important.”
Meet the contractor arrangements
Information will be displayed in an interactive virtual exhibition space allowing residents and businesses near the scheme can see road and path designs safely away from others. Highlights include a fly-through drone video of the scheme as the Knights Brown team go through the plans taking shape. This information will be available from the scheme webpage.
On 12 June 2020 a live webinar will air on the county council’s YouTube channel so residents can see, hear and ask questions of the contractors and project team. Questions for the webinar should be submitted in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 9am on 10 June.
You can find more information including FAQs at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/wctis