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West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Schemes - UK Cyber Business Park

In February 2017, Government announced a Growth Deal 3 allocation of £22M for infrastructure to accelerate the release of employment land to house the Cheltenham Cyber Business Park. In line with the Gloucestershire 2050 Vision, growing our economy presents the opportunity for Gloucestershire to be a ‘magnet’ county – growing the working age population by keeping and attracting more 18-40 year olds with high level qualifications who want to live and work in the county.

Cheltenham is a key driver for the economic prosperity of Gloucestershire, as well as the wider South West region. The county council is highly supportive of the emerging Cyber Park proposal. The Cyber Park proposal includes 45 hectares of much needed employment land, focussed on cyber industries generating new high skilled jobs, together with facilitating the delivery of the GCHQ Cyber Innovation Centre. Traffic congestion already exists to the west of Cheltenham however, and this needs to be addressed through appropriate, sustainable transport improvement measures. These measures will assist with the delivery of the Cyber Business Park in the future.

Officers recommend that the West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Schemes will comprise of the following schemes along the A40 corridor.

Phase 1 - Arle Court Roundabout

  • Provision of an additional circulatory lane around the roundabout
  • Corresponding additional lanes to the A40 on the approaches and exits to and from the junction
  • New bus lane on the B4063 approach from Staverton, also improving facilities for cyclists 
  • Bus Lane modifications to improve journey times for public transport
  • Widening the Hatherley Lane arm to the south side of the roundabout 
  • Park and Ride Entrance/Exit westbound (towards Gloucester) from Arle Court Roundabout
  • Proposal to improve cyclist access at specific junctions, such as Fiddlers Green Lane
  • Investigating other cycling improvements as part of this phase

Phase 2 - M5 Junction 11 (J11) southbound slip road to Arle Court Roundabout

  • M5 J11 to Arle Court eastbound carriageway widening (towards Cheltenham)
  • Extending Badgeworth Road Bridge

Phase 3 - Arle Court Roundabout to Benhall Roundabout

  • Arle Court to Telstar Way eastbound carriageway improvements (towards Cheltenham town centre)
  • Improving access for cyclists between Arle Court roundabout and Benhall roundabout
  • Telstar Way to Benhall Roundabout eastbound carriageway widening
  • Telstar Way widening to Hubble Road

Phase 4 - Benhall Roundabout to Griffiths Avenue

  • Benhall Roundabout remodelling including eastbound widening
  • Cycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements from Arle Court to Cheltenham Railway Station

If you have any questions about this scheme please contact us by e-mailing

majorprojects@gloucestershire.gov.uk 

Frequently Asked Questions

Phase 1 of the works at Arle Court Roundabout, will start in spring 2020 which will enable the A40 eastbound widening works (Phase 2) to commence. It is currently anticipated that all works (including Phases 3 & 4) will complete by Autumn 2021.

The improvements are necessary to fulfill the commitment of the Gfirst LEP in supporting the region and enabling development in the vicinity of the site.

The main purpose of the schemes (Phases 1 & 2) is to fulfill the following objectives:

  • Reduce peak period congestion for routes to/from Cheltenham, specifically along the A40
  • Optimise the efficiency of the existing junctions, and aim to reduce delays for all traffic
  • Improve provisions for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists
  • To help accelerate the delivery of planned growth and improve access to existing and potential employment zones.

The estimated, total cost of the two phases combined is £13m. All four phases are estimated to cost £22m.

The funding for the scheme is coming from the Gloucestershire First Local Enterprise Partnership (Gfirst LEP) Growth Deal and is subject to their approval of a Full Business Case.

The FBC is a document prepared by the project team and issued to the GFirst LEP for approval. The FBC includes an assessment of whether the scheme is fit for purpose and meets central and local government policies, it discusses what options have been considered, how options have been developed and if the scheme represents good value for money. Each of the four phases will require a separate FBC. 

Set up by central Government in 2011 to work with local businesses, local voluntary organisations and Local authorities, the role of GFirst LEP (Gloucester First Local Enterprise Partnership) is to drive sustainable economic growth in the county, and by doing so, create jobs and business opportunities. Run by a voluntary board of senior executives and elected representatives from Business and Local Authorities and a small team of full time staff. Based in the Growth Hub at the University of Gloucestershire. The LEP also supports a number of business sector groups that provide opportunities for business to “talk to government” directly.

These funds are specifically allocated for “Transformative Projects” that will drive economic development, focussed on transport infrastructure, skills infrastructure, business growth and remediation work on land to bring sites into use for housing and business use.

Whilst it is too early to confirm the exact arrangements required to manage traffic during the works, we will be maintaining access to businesses and residents and will be working hard to minimise disruption to the travelling public. To minimise disruption during the construction period, lane closures will be kept to off peak to help improve traffic flow at the busiest times.

As part of the tender process, for construction of the scheme we will set out requirements for methods of working. This will set out the approach to minimise and mitigate the impacts of noise/pollution etc. during the construction period.

One of the schemes primary objectives is to help alleviate existing congestion and accommodate for future demand on the highway network. The planned improvements will increase the capacity of the network as a whole and therefore help to accommodate future growth. Improving the bus lanes in the area will also help achieve this.

The proposed schemes do not use any of the highway previously associated with the westbound A40 Benhall Bus Lane scheme: the council decided not to continue its bid for funding to build this in November 2016.

Yes cyclists, taxis and private hire vehicles will be able to use the bus lane.

Yes. Site survey work will be carried out in order to assess the potential environmental impacts, and how the scheme design can mitigate these. The environmental assessment will consider all the environmental impacts of the scheme, and how these are to be mitigated.

The proposed schemes are located within the Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC) Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). The extents of the current AQMA are under review and monitoring data published in the Annual Status Report 2018 confirmed that air quality objectives are only exceeded in the north of Cheltenham town centre. By addressing existing and future traffic congestion the proposed schemes should lead to a reduction in associated pollutant emissions.

Improving the wider bus, pedestrian and cycle infrastructure around the scheme also brings the potential increased shift to more sustainable transport methods. However, it is recognised that the improvements will also increase traffic capacity, and in turn increase total traffic flows, which could lead to an increase in emissions.

Further air quality assessments will be carried out to fully assess how the proposed work will affect current conditions at sensitive receptors in the vicinity of the schemes. This will include examination of how construction traffic and dust emissions may affect neighbouring properties.

The project team are liaising with CBC's local Environmental Health Officer, to confirm the appropriate criteria for the affected road network and to confirm the appropriate assessment methodology and mitigation for air quality assessment and EU compliance assessment.

Gloucestershire County Council will hold two 'Public Share' events, these will provide the opportunity for the public to provide feedback, see the latest plans and to liaise with members of the project team who have been involved in the management and development of the schemes.

  • Jurys Inn, Gloucester Road, Cheltenham, GL51 0TS, Tuesday 18 June, 2pm to 7pm
  • St Marks C of E Junior School, Robert Burns Avenue, Benhall, Thursday 20 June, 5:30pm to 9pm

 

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