Trial changes to road network in Cheltenham are due to begin

 

A new traffic layout for Cheltenham town centre will begin, as a trial, on 26 June.  

The changes are the fourth phase of the Cheltenham Transport Plan, Cheltenham Borough Council’s (CBC) vision for a better town centre which will improve the environment, boost the local economy and improve traffic management. This phase focuses on changes to the road layout around the area known locally as ‘Boots Corner’.

The trial closure of Boots Corner will be carried out under an experimental traffic regulation order (TRO) from 26 June.  The closure will affect the section of Clarence Street through ‘Boots Corner’, North Street, Clarence Parade and Pittville Street to Imperial Circus. These streets will be covered with exemptions for taxis, cycles, loading or unloading between 6pm and 10am and some other exempt vehicles. Traffic signs advising of the changes will be put in place at key points in Cheltenham from 4 June.

Changes to the traffic layout in the town centre will improve pedestrian, cycle and public transport access and reduce car use in the town centre. With the aim of creating a space for people to enjoy, the High Street will see installation of new timber planters, timber seating areas and more cycle stands.

Councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety at Cheltenham Borough Council, says: “This is a really important step forward for the transport plan. Whilst we appreciate there will be an initial disruption as people adapt to the changes and develop new routines, the bigger picture is the benefit to the town centre environment, with an improvement in air quality, better traffic management, and in turn a boost to the local economy.

“As we know that more people come into the town centre by bus than any other means, public transport needs to be allowed right into the centre. This plan will deliver better connectivity between the High Street and Lower High Street for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport to ensure it is a town centre that is pleasant and safe for people to enjoy.

‘’We will be working in partnership with the county council highways authority to deliver and monitor the trial which could last for up to 18 months.’’

During the trial impacts on traffic and air quality around the town will be measured along with visitors and businesses perceptions of the changes.

Gloucestershire County Council (GCC), as local highway authority, is supporting CBC’s aspirations by making the changes to the streets to enable the scheme.

Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “The county council is carrying out the road works for the borough council’s Cheltenham Transport Plan. This trial closure of Boots corner will allow the county council to understand the impact of the changes on the wider network before a final decision is taken.”

Phil Martin, manager at the Brewery Quarter said: “This trial will be good for the town centre economy as it will offer greater access for everyone to enjoy the retail and leisure offer throughout the town.”

New blue badge spaces have been created in Crescent Terrace; Inner Promenade; Grosvenor Place South; Imperial Square (Eastern arm); and Clarence Street. Blue badge parking is also available inCheltenham Borough Council car parks. The council also runs a Shopmobility scheme where residents and visitors can register and pre-book wheelchairs, motorised scooter or other required equipment. Call 01242 255333 or email shopmobility@cheltenham.gov.uk to register and use the service.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to share their feedback about the trial scheme formally at gloucestershire.gov.uk/ctp when it goes live on 26 June 2018.

More information can be found at: www.cheltenham.gov.uk/transport-plan and www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/ctp