Cheltenham Cycle Improvements Wish List
The Cheltenham & Tewkesbury Cycling Campaign’s Wish List highlights achievable changes to improve conditions for cycling in Cheltenham. It also guides the Campaign’s strategy in discussions with Cheltenham and Gloucestershire councils, and is a resource both for local elected members considering how to invest their local highway budget and the council in creating its LCWIP (Local Cycling and Walking Improvement Plan).
It has two sections. The first deals with the major barriers to cycling which impact on the strategic network for cycling. The second includes relatively minor issues that if attended to would improve the cycling environment locally, but would not have a major impact on the general road network of the town.
Cycle users and potential cycle users in Cheltenham are invited to contribute to the Wish List, and you can contact us with an idea here. We’re in the process of extending the map to Tewkesbury, and are also happy to receive suggestions for our wider Gloucestershire map as well.
Issue: Taxis, vans and cars are able to enter the High Street, which it is unsuitable for. It also makes two-way use of the High Street for cycling less viable.
Solution: Close Benington Street at High Street, except for cycles.
|Grosvenor Place South to High Street
Issue: There is currently poor access from the north east into Cheltenham Town centre without using major roads.
Solution: Allowing cycling along the pedestrianised section of Grosvenor Place South would provide a very useful route north from the town centre. The blind junction at High Street could be overcome by placing low level planters or similar objects to deflect pedestrians in High Street away from the junction.
Issue: The contra-flow cycle lane in this street is frequently obstructed with the parking of motor vehicles, especially for deliveries and takeaway collections. Vehicles are also deflected towards the cycle lane when there is illegal parking up to the junction with St Margaret's Road.
Solution: Have two-way cycling without a cycle lane (This would require clear signing and preferably a 20mph speed limit and some reduction in parking), or physical barriers to prevent parking within the cycle lane. An island to protect cyclists waiting at St Margaret's Road is also desirable.
Issue: One way on Clarence Street blocks a direct cycling route away from the town centre.
Solution: Allow two-way cycling extended to Ambrose Street. Change to traffic order and signing only needed.
|Eastbound High Street Route
Issue: Eastbound cycling requires diversion through park on indirect route. Essential strategic connection for leaving Cheltenham to the East.
Solution: Best achieved by reducing westbound traffic to a single lane. There is an alternative route for through traffic via College Road and Bath Parade. A contra-flow cycle lane may be needed.
|Honeybourne Line to A40 Shelburne Road
Issue: Access to the Honeybourne line from the A40 requires cycling along the busy section of the Gloucester Road to the station, or making a turn across traffic from Queen's Road having taken a detour via Glencairn Park Road.
Solution: The Honeybourne route is well used and gives fast access for some areas of the town. The link to the station is popular and extending the track to St Stephens would open up some journey opportunities to people in Hatherley giving faster journey times to a number of destinations such as the station, town centre and leisure centre. It is also required for the onward connectivity to the A40 route.
Progress: A design has been agreed, and there are ongoing discussions about delivery of this. The campaign remains in active dialogue with GWR about the delivery of this route.
|Millbrook Street to New Street
Issue: Honeybourne Way had a major impact on severing a quiet route for pedestrians and cyclists from the western half of Cheltenham to the centre. The present arrangements are very unsatisfactory and further efforts need to be made to make the route of higher quality and more direct.
Solution: The use of the space needs to be carefully considered, reallocating space away from motor vehicles. The road layout at present is built for high speeds with the use of two medium sized roundabouts which is inappropriate in this location. There is sufficient width in the public realm here to create a much more active space.
Issue: The southern part of Montpellier Street, approaching parabola road is one way only, meaning cyclists leaving town are required to use the busier Montpellier Walk.
Solution: Two-way cycle use of the whole of this road would provide an alternative cycle route to the narrow Montpellier Walk, potentially accompanied by the removal of through traffic. The narrowing to provide a pedestrian crossing near Fauconberg Road would need to be revised. Improved egress from Montpellier Street towards Royal Well Road should be incorporated into changes to the adjacent road junctions.
|North Street into Albion Street
Issue: The present layout of this junction encourages drivers heading for North Place to cut across cyclists turning (with priority) into Albion Street.
Solution: Realignment to slow traffic going ahead.
Progress: The earlier phases of the Cheltenham Transport Plan have modified flows at this location, and we are reviewing the impact this continues to have.
Issue: Restoring a cycling link through Pittville Gates would enable a route from the Pittville area that avoids the busy Prestbury Road roundabout.
Progress: Gates restored but no easy cycle access, despite cycle route signing being retained, suggesting there is willingness for this to be the preferred route. Improved access at this location links to the need for two way cycling along Winchcombe Street.
Issue: Access into high street from north of town.
Solution: Implement two-way cycling. Note this would connect with improvements at Pittville Gates to create a continuous route north out of the town centre.
|Promenade / St Georges Road junction
Issue: A difficult junction for many cyclists as a lot of traffic turns left at St Georges Road and Royal Well Place, and it is one of a limited number of options for heading outbound from the town centre.
Solution: Some revision to layout and/or signal phasing to protect cycle movements.
|Promenade and Crescent Terrace
Issue: Access towards the town centre, and departure from it, involves using the busy one way system roads.
Solution: Allow two-way cycling (including Crescent Terrace itself). Will require layout changes at the Imperial Square end, but no alterations to the signals
|Royal Well Road
Issue: No outbound route from town towards Honeybourne Line, and when with traffic, the one-way, dual-lane road increases vehicle speeds.
Solution: Allow two way cycling by repurposing space for contraflow cycle lane.
|North Place / North Street / Clarence Street into Royal Well Road
Issue: Difficult to get into town centre from North
Solution: Allow contraflow cycling
Progress: Removal of phase 4 of Cheltenham Transport Plan means that current road configuration is unsuitable. Would require removal of lane to create sufficient space and realignment of carriageway.
|Clarence Fountain (Boots Corner)
Issue: No direct route to get from east to west high street as fully pedestrianised. Requires detour around promenade and up Clarence Street past bus laybys.
Solution: Create cycle route through pedestrian area and upgrade crossing to allow cycle use.
|St Anne's Road
Issue: No easy outbound route from town towards Fairview.
Solution: Allowing cycling two-way in this road would provide a shorter and less congested route between the town centre and Fairview.
|Cleevemount Road to Barley Road
Issue: Current connection requires dismount for footpath from Cleevemount Road to Barley Road for cycling. Well used by both cyclists and pedestrians as a principal route to/from town, but narrow, unlit and with full kerb at Barley Road.
Solution: Lower kerb at Barley Road to make proper vehicular junction. Widen path to 3m. Add lighting.
Issue: One way section of Suffolk Parade requires cyclists to divert via Montpellier Villas and then turn onto busier Suffolk Road.
Solution: Allowing two way cycling on full length of Suffolk Parade would enable direct quiet route across Suffolks. Also opportunity to relocate crossing to improve safety/ease of crossing.
|Westal Green to Tivoli and St Stephens Road
Issue: Westal Green cycle track was one of the earliest cycle schemes in Cheltenham, and was welcomed by the campaign at the time. It also carries some of the heaviest flows of cycle traffic in Cheltenham. However it does have some weaknesses and the actual layout has now been altered to the detriment of cyclists and pedestrians. The main problem is the access at the end of the shared use footway into St Stephens Road and on to the Tivoli area. The other problem is the phasing of the lights which can mean long crossing times for any cyclist or pedestrian using the lights legally.
The crossing of St Stephens Road is difficult as it is very often blocked by queuing vehicles, the volume of vehicles is high, and visibility is not good for the various vehicle movements. At present it is not possible to get to the network of quiet streets around Tivoli and Bath Road from the west without crossing the A40 twice, making use of the Westal Green facility pointless.
Solution: There are no obvious solutions, but this is an area where a detailed study might be worthwhile.
Issue: East/west connectivity from Wymans Brook to Pittville is poor.
Solution: An informal track crosses the old railway line at the back of Roman Hackle Avenue and then crosses the Approach Golf Course to Tommy Taylors Lane, and there are additional newer paths linking to Prince Regent Avenue. These are used by children going to and from Pittville School. A formal cycle path could be useful to many people who live in Wymans Brook by making key connections along this route, removing barriers and providing appropriate crossings.
|Bishop's Cleeve Cycle Route
Issue: The A435 is a busy road carrying heavy traffic, which is unsuitable for many cycle users. Those in Bishop's Cleeve are unable to access education and leisure sites in Cheltenham, and there are key employment connections missing. The alternate route through the racecourse uses private land and can be closed.
Solution: A high quality cycle route needs to be created between Bishop's Cleeve and Cheltenham that is suitable for the majority of potential cycle users. It needs to have good connectivity at each end for onward journeys.
Progress: May 2022 - GCC have announced they have secured funding for this connection.
|Town Centre overall challenges
The town inner ring has two negative impacts on cycling. On the one hand it prevents legal journeys by bike which would seem entirely logical on paper, and therefore causes confusion and extra journey times as well as extra vehicle conflicts. On the other hand it also increases overall vehicle speeds.
Examples of barriers are the following:
The incomplete Cheltenham Transport Scheme has solved some issues whilst creating new ones.
Solution: The solution lies in looking at the whole of the road network to see where two way traffic could be reinstated with sufficient traffic management measures to prevent through traffic being drawn back into the town
|River Chelt Cycle Way
Issue: Connectivity into northwest Cheltenham is poor, particularly given the challenges of the Tewkesbury Road.
Solution: New cycle path along River Chelt from Colletts Drive to connect with upgraded footpaths behind Brooklyn Gardens to Princess Elizabeth Way. Requires new bridge over the railway.
Issue: Although there is still some debate within the cycling community about how useful this route is, it is used by a large number of cyclists. However, there are still some serious problems along the route, particularly at the junctions. Here, cycle users must slow down significantly, despite it being a very minor side road with easy alternatives. This improvement would be complementary to changes at Lansdown Parade.
Solution: Close Lansdown Walk
|Back Montpellier Terrace
Issue: This is a very useful route for access to the hospital from the western side of Cheltenham. The route is now is two way throughout for cycling. However there are some details which need addressing. There are areas of contraflow where the signing needs improving and the eastern junction with Bath Road is very unsatisfactory from the point of view of accessing the hospital. It also requires resurfacing, but has been a low priority due to low motor vehicle use.
Solution: Improve contraflow signage and crossing of Suffolk Square, and study of junction with Bath Road/Sandford Road
|Cambray Place Link
Issue: No easy route to connect between Rodney Road and Cambray Place without cycling up and through town centre. Addressing this would give useful links with the Charlton Kings cycle route in the opposite direction of the Inner Ring.
Solution: Widen footway to provide for shared use and drop kerbs and remove parking to protect entry at Rodney Road end.
|Charlton Kings Cycle Route junction with Moorend Road
Issue: The exit/entry point onto Moorend Road is very tricky, with poor visibility, and vehicles are often reaching higher speeds at this location.
Solution: Improve the entrance, and implement measures to slow the traffic and improve visibility.
|Chancel Park to Cox's Meadow
Issue: An additional high quality access to the Charlton Kings route would be useful, in that it would extend the number of destinations which could reached by it.
Solution: Open a route from Chancel Park / St Judes Walk to the existing cycle route.
Issue: Gyratory systems are always a problem for cyclists and Coronation Square is no exception. The shared paths have a lack of priority across junctions and are indirect. What makes matters worse is that the largest housing estate is on one side of the square and the shops are on the other.
Solution: Remove the gyratory system and make the main through route two way along on side of the square. Any cycle route would only have to make one crossing of the route. A solution which is solely based on the pavement route would not work because of the conflict with busy pedestrian areas.
|Campden Road to A40 crossing
Issue: Links poorly designed with inappropriate barriers and sharp bends.
Solution: Re-align accesses to crossing.
Progress: May 2022 - we understand a proposal is being developed for this location by GCC.
|Hatherley Lane and B&Q Roundabout
Issue: Cycle facilities from Gloucester Road to Hatherley Lane and B&Q are poorly designed and difficult to use. The short cycle route section from the Arle Court Roundabout underpass is reasonably proportioned. However, it leads to what may be the worst cycle facility in Cheltenham, with the crossing of Hatherley Lane now made more dangerous by the expanded adjacent roundabout.
Solution: Re-design route from the A40 with cycle priority all the way to B&Q, Hatherley Lane and Grovefield Way.
|High Street at St Pauls Street South
Issue: St Pauls Street South is closed at High Street but it is easy to pass through the closure cycling.
Solution: This should be regularised with a dropped kerb and signage, as well as protection from blockage by parked vehicles.
|Honeybourne Line Northern Barrier
Issue: Barrier at the foot of the steep hill onto narrow Honeybourne Line section is difficult to negotiate.
Solution: Replace with bollards that allow easier passage, and open up visibility further if possible.
|Honeybourne Line at Folly Lane
Issue: Surface of access poor and barriers are awkward and a hazard.
Solution: Re-align barriers and lay additional surfacing.
|Honeybourne Line access from Queen's Road
Issue: Queens Road island and bus stop badly sited for cycle access to Honeybourne Line. The barriers by the kerb make visibility and manoeuvring difficult, creating a hazard.
Solution: Re-design area. The campaign previously supported the move of buses to station forecourt but this was not implemented within the 2020 GWR forecourt scheme. Remove barriers and create more direct access.
|Honeybourne Line to Railway Station connection
Issue: The 2020 GWR forecourt scheme severed continuous access to the Honeybourne Line.
Solution: The campaign is actively engaged with GWR to see this removed. We have proposed a solution that provides a dropped kerb from the road leading into the main car park, providing a direct route down to the Honeybourne Line, with removal of the dismount signs.
Issue: Whilst the road is filtered, there is no cycle continuity, reducing benefit to cycle users.
Solution: The introduction of a cycle gap through the road closure near Holy Trinity School would improve access by cycling to both the town centre and the school.
|Junction of Swindon Road, Kingsditch Lane and Runnings Road
Issue: Very tricky complex of mini-roundabouts with multiple lane entries. Very poor quality and unsafe shared footway.
Solution: Redesign entire area, considering needs of all users.
|Kingsmead Road to Grevil Road
Issue: The approaches to the toucan crossing are at ninety degrees on both sides of the road.
Solution: Widen access paths to cut corners off, and improve access onto Arle Road.
|Lansdown Road by Gloucester Road
Issue: Access from the road onto the cycle path is via a dropped kerb that is not flush to the carriageway. This risks a cycle wheel being deflected as someone attempts to exit the carriageway, and is a good example of where careful engineering (eg laying kerbstones upside down for a flat edge) is vital.
Solution: Provide a flat transition.
Update: May 2022 - this is being redone as part of the WCTIS scheme but we are as yet unclear on the impact on this transition.
Issue: Although there is still some debate within the cycling community about how useful this route is, it is used by a large number of cyclists. However, there are still some serious problems along the route, particularly at the junctions.
Solution: Improve junction with Lansdown Parade. The whole route also requires resurfacing, and verges being dug out to restore widths.
|North Place to St Margarets Road
Issue: Traffic backs up at these traffic lights before turning in multiple directions
Solution: An advanced stop line to allow cycle users to position themselves safely at the lights when traffic is stopped.
|Access from Sandford Road to Cox's Meadow
Issue: Indirect and awkward route from cycle path to road, with unclear routing if unfamiliar.
Solution: Connect path direct to Sandford Road roundabout
|Suffolk Square to Gordon's Lamp crossing
Issue: This area (including Suffolk Square) can be very congested with parking blocking access to the crossing. The advisory lane peters out in Park Place.
Solution: Widen existing advisory lane and extend to cul-de-sac. Protect entrance to Gordons Lamp crossing
|Suffolk Place to Back Montpellier Terrace
Issue: Crossing from Suffolk Place of Back Montpellier Terrace is difficult due to road width, speed of vehicle exit from roundabout and limited sight lines towards Suffolk Square.
Solution: Tighten corners and use additional space to improve sight lines whilst shortening crossing distance.
|Pittville Crescent Lane northern access
Issue: Short one-way section at end of Pittville Crescent Lane necessitates a long detour.
Solution: Allow cycling two-way along this short section of road
|Prestbury Road & Albert Road Roundabout
Issue: Traffic speeds are still too high in Albert Road. Traffic uses Albert Rd as rat run and the roundabout is tricky to negotiate and intimidating.
Solution: Investigate ways of closing Albert Road at some point for through traffic. Traffic calming in Albert Road.
Progress: Traffic calming project implemented but not very successful. Roundabout still perceived as a barrier by some wanting to cycle.
|Prestbury Road to Mendip Road Connection
Issue: Wide footpath here, but there is no cycle connection to leave busier main road.
Solution: Allow cycling along wide footpath. Link to/from Pittville School. Remove No Cycling signs and sign positively
|Fauconberg Road to Imperial Square (Queens Hotel)
Issue: Originally the road layout here was such that cyclists could proceed straight across from Fauconberg /Queens Circus to Imperial Sq. The road was altered to enable the former road train to turn but entailed a new layout which meant cyclists had to perform a right turn without any protection in a central refuge. (This was a layout the campaign objected to.)
Solution: Re-design layout to restore direct crossing.
|Royal Well Lane: paths along River Chelt
Issue: Very narrow with visibility problems.
Solution: Widen and re-align existing paths
Issue: Next to the pelican crossing in Princess Elizabeth Way there is a lane leading to Village Road which is heavily used by the pupils of Hesters Way Junior School and is on the route to All Saints Academy. There is no lighting.
Solution: Install lighting and improve route continuity.
Progress: Some tarmac now laid, access at PE way end to be improved
|Telstar Road / Gloucester Road junction
Issue: Cyclists using Miserden Road have to make two right turns, with no obvious route to the crossing.
Solution: Create new cut through from Miserden Road to the crossing.
Progress: The campaign had hoped this would be addressed as part of the A40 works, and had constructive dialogue with GCC on this. At present though, we have seen no plans or suggestion that a better route will be created.
Issue: The Tewkesbury Road is a very fast road with heavy traffic, but also provides a route for a number of cyclists, and there is no real alternative for some journeys.
Solution: A pavement route is not likely to provide a satisfactory solution. Removal of road space for cars and a reduction of the speed limit is likely to be more effective in positively promoting the bike. Making the near-side lane wider could make it cyclist-friendly.
Issue: The traffic speeds are still too high here and the cycle lane is too narrow with pinch points occurring where there are islands
Solution: Installation of activated speed signs. Removal of centre line, widen cycle lane, remove traffic islands
Issue: Bath Road presents a difficult section for heading south.
Solution: Allow two-way cycling on Wellington Street. Only requires change to traffic order and signing.