Boost for cycling in Gloucestershire with £ 12.8million secured to improve local routes

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Gloucestershire can brace for a huge boost to cycling with over £ 12million to come to improve the county’s routes.

Gloucestershire County Council has confirmed that its full offer of £ 12.822million from the government leveling fund has been awarded to support major transport improvements across the town of Gloucester – connecting what has been known as ” the missing link of cycle paths “in the heart of the county.

Council leaders say the funding will bring to life the vision of connecting the recently improved Gloucester towpath and Sharpness Canal with the A40 West Cheltenham transport improvement program, via Gloucester and the B4063 cycle path.

READ MORE: Forest of Dean secures additional £ 20million in funding

This would ultimately provide a 26 mile cycling “backbone” through Stroud County to Bishops Cleeve, allowing the council to create a substantial local cycling and walking network, helping people to move around in a sustainable manner. residential areas.

Council chief Mark Hawthorne, Conservative adviser to Quedgeley, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the news that Gloucestershire will receive a significant boost for sustainable transport.

“Our long-term goals for tackling climate change and reducing carbon emissions must include sustainable modes of travel, and I believe building a substantial and safe network for cyclists and pedestrians will transform our county.

“This funding allows us to fully fund these ambitions for the future of Gloucestershire.

Liberal Democrat leader Paul Hodgkinson, councilor for Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach, said he too was delighted to see the money coming to the county.

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He also thanked the council agents for preparing the winning bid.

“This funding should provide a vital link for cyclists in Gloucester, or even those who possibly wish to cycle through the city from Stroud or Cheltenham,” he said.

“With the funding secured for this missing link, the Conservative administration must find the money for the long awaited route between Bishops Cleeve and Cheltenham and must work with all districts to create a comprehensive cycling network in our villages, towns and cities. , making cycling safer for shorter trips away from this “cycling backbone”.

Labor group leader John Bloxsom (Rodborough adviser) said funding was welcome, but firm plans were needed for other areas forming the promised 26-mile ‘backbone route’ through the count.

“In September, the Conservative cabinet ignored the protests and withdrew £ 435,000 in funding from the highly anticipated Cheltenham to Bishops Cleeve Cycleway,” he said.

“Labor is calling on the cabinet to reinstate this reduction and deliver on other planned routes through the DfT Active Travel Fund, Sustrans and its own capital resources. It is crucial that the county supports residents who wish to cycle more. “

And Councilor Chris McFarling, Sedbury Green Councilor, said that was great news for the county.

“It is the best way to get the most bang for your buck by building bicycle lanes in urban areas,” he said.

“Of course, as always, we lose out in rural areas because we don’t have the number or density of the population.

“Nonetheless, if it can reduce carbon emissions in Gloucester, it is in my book because we all have to play our part.”

The offering supports improved access to and from the Gloucester Docks area, a former industrial area that has evolved into a thriving and vibrant mixed community of businesses, visitors and residents.

It will also connect the docks with downtown and beyond through a sustainable transportation corridor, helping students and employees access the local hospital, university and colleges from residential areas.

The ‘missing link’ will help connect the recently upgraded Gloucester and Sharpness Canal towpath through downtown to Cheltenham via funding already committed.

This will be complemented by the resolution of a pinch point on the southwest bypass from Gloucester to Llanthony Road, resulting in improved travel times for the 25,000 vehicles that use it daily.

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