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June 2022 Committee Meeting

The committee and campaign members met for our regular monthly meeting via videoconference in late June. This month, we focussed on reviewing a number of ongoing areas of concern, and discussing how we communicate the opportunities for cycling in North Gloucestershire to decision makers moving forwards.

**Campaign Impact**

Climate Change SPD (Supplementary Planning Document)

The campaign had previously provided feedback on the transport section of a proposed planning document which the borough council will use in assessing future planning applications.

The committee was pleased to note that several of our recommendations have been accepted and integrated into the final document, and extend thanks to other members that took the time to respond.

Excerpt from consultation document presented to Cheltenham Borough Council

We will now be looking to understand how this SPD will be applied to future proposals.

Bishop’s Cleeve to Cheltenham Cycle route funded?

Gloucestershire has received a substantial grant (£14 million) from Active Travel England to continue construction of its long distance cycle route, with a focus on the Bishop’s Cleeve to Cheltenham cycle connection, and Gloucester City centre improvements.

The connection from Bishop’s Cleeve has been awaited by local cycle users, including the campaign, for decades. We hope to be involved in ongoing design to ensure that it delivers the best solution for the largest group of potential users.

We are particularly interested in how it will cross the heritage railway line, and how it will get beyond the Racecourse Roundabout to connect with the town centre and the Honeybourne Line.

The works done to date at Southam Lane preparing for the future cycle route.

The county appears to have also received grants to progress a ‘mini-holland’ study in north Cheltenham and to establish a small ‘last mile’ e-cargo bike delivery hub somewhere near Cheltenham.

West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Scheme and Cheltenham to Gloucester cycle route

As noted in our previous critique, we remain committed to ensuring that the cycle route delivers the best possible experience despite its problems.

Committee members were disappointed to see the installation of nearly 60 rumble strips along the separated cycleway between Griffiths Avenue and Tennyson Road in West Cheltenham. These create a poor experience, particularly for those transporting children or cargo, or who have musculoskeletal disability.

The campaign cannot identify anywhere else in the country that has used this approach for tree protection, which is cited as the reason for it. We believe there are much better solutions that could have been used. The campaign was not consulted on this feature.

We have made contact with the council and are reviewing our next steps. We think it likely we will lead either an open letter or a council petition, so make sure you’re signed up as a member, or following us on social media, if you’re affected by this frustrating design decision.

Speed limits from Cheltenham to Gloucester

The campaign has been asked to comment on two traffic regulation orders. The first appears to be a revisit of the already constructed A40 crossings, where there are no material changes identified from our previous feedback.

The second is for the speed limits along the B4063, with a lowering of the speed to 30mph between the Arle Court and Estcourt roundabouts. This is required for the cycle route to reach compliance with current LTN 1/20 standards because of the limited road width, and highlights the challenge of choosing this solution as opposed to the route previously favoured by the campaign aligned to the A40. The proximity of a westbound cyclist to oncoming traffic, including buses and HGVs on the narrowed carriageway, is unlikely to be a great experience if the route actually is used by a significant number of people.

Extract from Gloucestershire County Council website on need for speed changes on the B4063

We also noted that the road geometry and rurality is likely to make this a difficult limit to enforce. As mentioned by the council in their consultation feedback, it is likely average speed cameras will be required along this stretch if the limit is to be meaningful.

We have also highlighted that keeping Bamfurlong Lane at 50mph risks it becoming a quicker route, especially via satnav. Combined with the decision of National Highways not to include cycle facilities in its resurfacing of the bridge, this could have a significant negative impact on cycle users wanting to go via the airport or use this useful connector road.

Gloucestershire Police approach to road harm reduction

After appeal, Gloucestershire police acknowledged that they had not given sufficient attention to responding to our Freedom of Information request about how they handle video footage.

Their subsequent reply, however, appears to suggest they keep no record of how they respond to video footage submitted by cycle users, and cannot report on what action they take.

This appears in stark contrast to many other forces, and we will be taking dialogue forward on why there is no attempt to monitor performance or action in this area.

Cycle Liaison Group

The committee discussed at length the apparent disengagement by Gloucestershire County Council from the campaign, and the impact this was having on the promotion of cycling.

The campaign was previously invited to regular fora with the council, but this has not continued through or after the pandemic. Committee members reaffirmed their commitment that we would provide honest feedback to the council on their strategy and proposals, even if this meant that the relationship was not so easy to sustain.

A committee member agreed to take forward an enquiry on what meetings were taking place, the membership of these meetings, and what was being discussed.

Cheltenham Spa station

The campaign has successfully negotiated a number of changes to the forecourt to improve cycle user experiences. Adapted and cargo bike stands have now been installed near the high density parking.

We have also agreed with GWR a compromise scheme to enable continuous access down to the Honeybourne Line and improved protection for cycle users heading to the promised link to the A40 via Shelburne road.

The low level orcas that currently provide inadequate protection against vehicle incursion onto the future cycleway

Unfortunately, the delivery of these improvements is dependent on the appointment of a contractor for the Honeybourne Line extension works, and there are ongoing discussions between the interested parties on this.

The committee members have obviously shared their frustration that simple changes would be delayed until the larger scheme progresses.


Our membership continues to increase, and with the new privacy policy implemented, we will be launching our new mailing list soon. WE are also preparing small bike decals to be offered to members so they can show their support for the campaign on and increase our visibility further.

Membership of the campaign costs only £5 per month, and by joining, you add your voice to many others wanting better opportunities for cycling in Cheltenham and Tewkesbury.

The committee will meet again in July.