B4063 Cheltenham to Gloucester Cycle Improvements Scheme
The B4063 Gloucester to Cheltenham Cycle Improvements Scheme started as a Highways England project with the strategic aim to link the major areas of Gloucester and Cheltenham and the villages in between.
A series of ring-fenced funds have been designated by Highways England to invest in cycle infrastructure. A study was done in 2015/16 to assess the most continuous, direct, comfortable, safe attractive route for cyclists of all abilities and the B4063 was selected as the preferred route (near the A40 strategic corridor). The A40 is not suitable for a cycle route due to high speeds and the motorway junction.
Highways England and their term consultant Kier completed preliminary design which has been passed to Gloucestershire County Council and their design team at Atkins for further development. Detailed design is due to be completed during the 2020/21 financial year for construction in 2021/22.
The B4063 runs between Gloucester and Cheltenham and a segregated cycleway here will help cyclists of all ages and abilities to travel safely. It will link up the cycle route along London Road in Gloucester, which is also funded by the Government (Emergency Active Travel Fund, Tranche 1), to cycling improvements along the A40 in Cheltenham. It will give a continuous space for cyclists and make cycling and sustainable travel more appealing; helping to get people out of their cars, improving the amount of traffic in the area.
The new cycleway will be flat and accessible to all, aiming to improve health and wellbeing in the community while reducing Gloucestershire’s carbon emissions. If there’s less traffic around, buses are more likely to be on time too.
The route will help people reboot their commute, as it will link up Churchdown, Innsworth and Staverton to public transport hubs in both Gloucester and Cheltenham. The route also links up with many different work places, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, and University of Gloucestershire campuses.
Approximately 10km (6 miles), the proposed scheme runs between Arle Court roundabout to the west of Cheltenham to London Road (junction Black Dog way) Gloucester via Staverton, Churchdown and Longlevens.
The route can be broken into two sections:
Section 1 (Estcourt Road to Elmbridge)
End to end segregated cycle track comprising:
Single direction segregated cycle tracks on both sides of the carriageway transitioning to a two-way segregated cycle track on northern side at Old Cheltenham Road.
Section 2 - 4 (Elmbridge to Arle Court)
End to end two-way cycle track on northern side of the B4063 carriageway comprising:
A segregated cycle track in locations with a higher density of pedestrians (through Churchdown).
A ‘shared cycle track ’ in rural sections with few pedestrians. (i.e. a cycle track people can walk on, not a footway people can cycle on).
Final design details are to be agreed following further discussions. These sections may not be delivered in numerical order.
Funding for scheme design has been fully secured from Highways England Designated Funds. Gloucestershire County Council is in the process of commissioning a detailed design of the scheme.
Construction costs have also been partially secured from Highways England Designated Funds and other funding contributions are currently being found.
Highways England has done some outline consultation on the scheme during their preliminary design phase. This included talking with local MPs, GCC officers and presentations of the scheme to the GCC Cycle Advisory and Liaison Group, whose membership includes county councillors, cycle groups and cycle organisations.
The scheme has the support of local MPs and has been raised as a key project during Prime Minister’s Questions.
Further engagement exercises with lots of different people will be completed during detailed design so the views of local residents, businesses and commuters can help us to finalise the route.