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Cycling and walking social distancing scheme


Following an announcement from the Government, Gloucestershire County Council in partnership with district councils is improving walking and cycling routes around the county to help residents to socially distance safely during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Please be mindful if you are out and about with your household, so we can work together to create more space for others to stay apart and stay safe. 

Gloucestershire's approach:

We are creating four initial sites in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Bourton on the Water, aimed at supporting social distancing on busy pavements, allowing people to stay at least 2m away from others.

Gloucestershire has a diverse mix of places which each have their own walking, cycling, driving challenges. These four trial areas will allow us to look at different types of schemes that can be used around the county. Initially these changes will be made without needing TROs so we can put measures in place to help people quickly.

As well as these four sites, we have asked district councils to tell us their top three sites which they believe will meet the criteria and benefit their residents. 

As Gloucestershire recovers from the Coronavirus pandemic, this scheme will assist economic recovery around the county offering greener travel choices that will make it easier for both residents and visitors to access jobs, services, education, shopping and visitor attractions. 

This scheme is dependent on how much Government funding is allocated to Gloucestershire and we are waiting for more details from the Government. 

You can email the project team feedback on these trial sites at socialdistancing@gloucestershire.gov.uk

What else is happening?

The county council recognises that reducing the numbers of cars on the road is an important part of work to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the effects of climate change. As a result of the recent increase in cycling around the county, we are reviewing our cycle network and plan to increase maintenance to improve the facilities Gloucestershire already has. This work will be separate from the social distancing scheme, but will support the overall aims.

Longer term, this work will improve air quality by promoting sustainable transport and active travel in a necessary and practical way. These improvements will encourage cycling and walking around the county, reducing car journeys and cutting congestion.


Trial sites

High Street, Tewkesbury

Water-filled barriers have been used to convert on street parking bays into more space for pedestrians, with signs installed encouraging social distancing. Disabled parking bays, taxi ranks, bus stops and loading bays have not changed.

Letter to residents and businesses.


Bath Road, Cheltenham

Water-filled barriers have been used to convert on street parking bays into more space for pedestrians, with signs installed encouraging social distancing.  Taxi ranks, most bus stops and loading bays have not changed. A bus stop has moved slightly to improve access. One disabled parking bay has moved slightly and is clearly marked.

The nearest pay and display parking is available at Bath Terrace Car Park, which is run by Cheltenham Borough Council. 

Letter to residents and businesses.


Bourton on the Water

High Street, Station Road, Sherborne Street, Victoria Street and Rissington Road. 

Signs, floor stickers and markings have been put out around the village centre to help remind people to stay 2m away from each other. Pedestrians are encouraged to walk on the left. 



London Road, Gloucester

(more information will follow shortly)


What the Government has asked us to do

A fast-tracked statutory guidance, published 10 May 2020 and effective immediately, asks councils to consider reallocating road space for significantly increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians.

The government asks local authorities to consider making significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians (Section 18 of Traffic Management Act 2004). Local authorities in areas with ‘high levels of public transport use’ should take measures to reallocate road space to people walking and cycling, both to encourage active travel and to enable social distancing during restart. Local authorities where ‘public transport use is low’ should be considering all possible measures.

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