Almost £1.2million secured for cycling and walking in Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire County Council has secured a further £864,750 to help cyclists, pedestrians and public transport during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is in addition to the £321,773 awarded to the county earlier this year from the Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF).
Although lower than expected, the council is ready to put the wheels in motion on some of its ambitious plans, including the six mile-long Cheltenham to Gloucester B4063 cycle link. The scheme is key to unlocking green transport for those commuting between the two urban areas and will provide dedicated space for the thousands of cyclists in Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Cheltenham.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for planning and environment, said: “While it is a little disappointing not to get all the money we had bid for, we will put our allocation to best use for the long term benefit to the county and continue to work hard to secure more funding in the future, to help us deliver our ambitious plans for tackling climate change and improving the health and wellbeing of people across the county.
“Using money awarded earlier this year, we have already delivered several temporary schemes which have helped communities to remain active and safe during this ongoing pandemic.”
At its peak, cycling in Gloucestershire increased by 190 per cent during the first coronavirus lockdown. Ongoing investment in Gloucestershire’s cycle network is important to encourage as many people as possible to choose cycling and walking as their long term option for getting around; enjoying all the linked health and wellbeing benefits.
The first round of EATF funding was used to help people keep safe and apart in shopping areas in order to support the reopening of shops and small businesses. Bath Road in Cheltenham, Tewkesbury High Street and Bourton on the Water village centre saw a mixture of measures which helped to inform the support available for district councils reopening their town centres. On the first phase of the cycle route along London Road in Gloucester cyclists now have a wide and continuous cycle lane along both sides and pedestrians have three new Zebra crossings allowing them to cross easily and stay safe.
A detailed summary of the EATF bid is online at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/eatf-bid.