Council’s cycling ambitions go up a gear!
To mark World Car Free Day, Gloucestershire County Council launched its new campaign Travel by-cycle around Gloucestershire on Friday 20 September at Tewkesbury School.
The sunshine and Newtown cycle track provided a perfect backdrop to launch the council’s new campaign promoting cycling and its plans for improving Gloucestershire’s cycle network.
County councillors Vernon Smith, Patrick Molyneux, Richard Boyles and the council’s lead commissioner for communities and infrastructure, Philip Williams, joined students from Tewkesbury School and tried out e-bikes, provided by eCycle UK (Stroud).
They cycled e-bikes along Newtown cycle track, in Tewkesbury which is one of the busiest cycle routes in the county, with around 550 cyclists using it every day. It is a traffic free route and is particularly well used by students who walk and cycle to Tewkesbury School.
The council has produced a booklet providing information on its investment in Gloucestershire’s cycle network, along with its future ambitions and investment plans.
The council is developing a £9 million package of improvements to make cycling easier across Gloucestershire, including:
- £1.3million upgrade to the canal towpath linking Hardwicke to Gloucester city centre
- £1million cycle improvements (funded by Gfirst LEP) connecting Aylburton, Lydney town centre, Lydney station, Dean Academy and residential areas
- £3.6million route between Cheltenham and Gloucester which is due to be built in 2020 (working in partnership with Highways England)
- £3million cycle scheme between Bishop’s Cleeve and Cheltenham
The council will also be investing £30,000 to develop a digital map of the existing cycle network, with information on the extent and condition of our on-road cycle lanes, off-road dedicated cycle routes and shared routes.
Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways and local councillor for Tewkesbury East, said: “Making more trips by-cycle will help us all to reduce transport emissions that contribute to climate change. Cycling helps to reduce congestion, improve local air quality and is good for our personal health and wellbeing.
“Our ambition is ‘to make cycling and walking the natural choices for shorter journeys. We want to develop a high quality cycle network across Gloucestershire which connects our communities and encourages confidence in cycling for leisure, work, school and health.”
Philip Williams, lead commissioner for communities and infrastructure said: “We have nearly 300 miles of dedicated cycle routes in Gloucestershire and 4.5% of trips to work are by-cycle, which is over twice the national average. However, we aspire to do better than this: our vision is for people to be able to travel by-cycle off road where possible between the urban areas of Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud; and in due course the Cotswolds and Forest.”
Download our new Travel by-cycle around Gloucestershire booklet.