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July 2022 Committee Meeting notes

The committee and campaign members held our monthly campaign meeting via Zoom to discuss our ongoing priorities for improving cycling across north Gloucestershire.

Membership has increased again in month, now standing at 136, and we are looking forward to launching our new email newsletter to help even more people connect with the campaign. [Newsletter signup now live – existing members should automatically receive this]

GCC Countywide Cycling Improvement Plan

The campaign has picked up that Gloucestershire County Council is working with Sustrans to develop a wider cycling network plan for the county. The campaign chair had attended one of the drop-in events, which clarified that this was limited to rural areas. There were some encouraging discussions about speed limits. However, the committee was concerned that expanding the list of strategic routes before addressing the very significant barriers within the urban areas (where most cycling potential lies), risked diluting focus from the urgent priorities within the towns.

The committee agreed to prepared a response which will be shared with members and subscribers to inform their responses. [Response now live – read here]

Consultation map shared as part of the Gloucestershire Countywide Cycling Improvment Plan consultation. Original map available via consultation website.

A40 Rumble Strips

No further response had been received from the county council about the installation of the rumble strips along the new A40 cycle route between Tennyson Road and Griffiths Avenue in West Cheltenham.

It was agreed that the campaign would host a petition which will be circulated to members and highlighted to those using the route to request that, given the very substantial scale of the budget for the overall road expansion scheme, this section should be revisted and a better solution found. [Petition now live – sign here]

Original markings indicating the intention to install the ‘rumble strips’ on the new A40 cycleway in West cheltenham

Cheltenham Spa Station Forecourt

Committee members were frustrated that there has been no further progress on addressing the barriers to cycling on the forecourt, despite agreement being reached on some improvements. The delay is due to the works being transferred to a new contractor who will be responsible for building the ramp extension to the A40, but this contractor cannot be appointed until Cheltenham Borough Council, GWR and the LEP have reached agreement on this bigger scheme.

The campaign is writing to the responsible Cheltenham Borough Council lead to ask for some urgency to getting these works completed.

TRO Consultation

The campaign will be commenting on a further TRO (Traffic Regulation Order) for the already built works along the A40 in West Cheltenham, to highlight the importance of maintaining permeability for cycle users into Church Lane from the A40.

Lower High Street

In the campaign’s ongoing monitoring of route quality, it was noted that the lower high street has now been opened up to all traffic from Boots Corner, significantly increasing road danger and decreasing street amenity in this busy pedestrian area and useful cycling corridor.

No members were aware of when this had happened, and it was agreed to write to the elected member for highways at Gloucestershire County Council to raise the issue.

New web pages

The committee signed off two new web pages to complement our relaunched wish list for Cheltenham and Gloucestershire. The pages summarise current design standards that are important to be aware of, and details of who to contact about cycling issues in Gloucestershire.

One of our newly launched web pages.

The committee also agreed to commission a series of interviews with local cycle users to share and encourage on the range of people enjoying cycling and supporting the campaign.

Dates for your diary

The committee agreed that the AGM would be held virtually at 7.30pm on 10th November, with a face to face social event held on the afternoon of 6th November, where there would be an opportunity to meet up and discuss campaign priorities ahead of the AGM.