The C&TCC committee met via Zoom for it’s regular meeting on 11 April to review key campaign priorities and changes affecting cycling in North Gloucestershire.
Cheltenham Spa Railway Station Cycling Facilities
Over the last year, the campaign has been negotiating with GWR and Sustrans regarding changes to the forecourt. The scheme as constructed broke the continuous link from the forecourt to the Honeybourne Line, and the low level ‘orca’ type protection along the car park edge will be insufficient for the separated route when the connection to Shelbourne Road is eventually constructed.
After significant negotiation, the campaign has worked to produce a deliverable improvement with GWR, by removing the end car parking space next to the footpath down to the Honeybourne Line, and adding a drop kerb to allow an access route. This will enable the ‘Cyclists Dismount’ signs to be removed.
Changes will be made to the forecourt to add cycle symbols to show cycle users are welcome in this space to access the cycle parking, and a corridor will be opened up to cross the hatching when leaving the cycle parking.
We have also reached agreement that more substantial barriers will be installed to protect pedestrians and cycle users on the Honeybourne Line extension.
Due to complex maintenance and funding arrangements between GWR, network rail, Gloucestershire County Council and Cheltenham Borough Council, no timescale has been agreed for the works.
These proposed changes, if delivered, represent a positive outcome for the campaign, as they would not have been considered without our involvement.
Sharing our concerns on the 26 mile cycle spine route
The committee and members have been engaged on individual consultations for sections of this route. In each of these, we have highlighted that there are also major strategic risks of assuming a single corridor can deliver the necessary changes in cycling. There are also common themes to problems along the whole route.
The committee agreed an overview article that would bring all of these views together. It would also provide an opportunity to highlight that there was no apparent strategy for enabling intra-urban cycliny (short trips within our towns and city), which remains in the campaign’s opinion, the highest priority for achieving more accessible cycling.
[Update – this article has now been published]
West Cheltenham & B4063 route
Construction continues on the West Cheltenham cycleway. As highlighted in our responses, the section nearest to Gloucester Road is most disappointing, with an uneven surface as the kerb drops for each driveway, and narrow sections very close to 40mph oncoming traffic.
Committee members had been raising snagging issues, but it was agreed that a full review of the route would be prepared when construction is complete.
New plans have been prepared for the section of the B4063 between the M5 over bridge and the Elmcourt Roundabout, although the campaign has yet to be approached for comment on these.
No further updates have been received, but it appears the very weak plans are now progressing to construction.
Once rolled out, it will open up the opportunity to launch a more flexible mailing list, and it is hoped that this will help us continue to grow our engagement further.
[Update – policy now available here]