AMBITIOUS plans for a 26-mile ‘cycle spine’ from Stroud to Bishops Cleeve have been given a multi-million pound cash boost.
The cycle spine extends from Stroud to Bishops Cleeve and will pass through Gloucester and Cheltenham, creating a substantial cycling and walking network through the county.
Funding has already been committed to a new flagship walking and cycling route along the B4063 linking Gloucester to Cheltenham.
Now the full bid of £14,127,413 has been allocated by the DfT in the third tranche of the Active Travel Capital Fund, funding is available for the Gloucester Cycle Spine and Cheltenham to Bishops Cleeve cycle route.
The allocation will help allow concept designs to be developed further for these parts of the route and residents will be consulted on the proposals once the plans are at a more advanced stage.
A further £78,947 has also been awarded to the county council to conduct a feasibility study across the residential streets of St Marks and St Pauls in West and North-West Cheltenham.
The funding will be used to provide a range of measures to support and encourage cycling and pedestrian movement in the area by making it safer and easier to walk and ride with improved cycle access to residential streets, Cheltenham Spa Station, the Honeybourne Cycle Link and the recently completed West Cheltenham Walking and Cycling Improvements Scheme, that form part of the Gloucestershire Cycle Spine.
A GCC spokesperson said: “We are committed to tackling climate change and creating a Greener Gloucestershire and this investment in cycling and walking infrastructure will help us work towards these goals. Increased walking and cycling will improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions from transport, as well as improving the health and wellbeing of our residents.”
Cllr David Gray, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “It’s fantastic news that we have been awarded this money and shows that the Department for Transport is fully in support of
our plans to create a substantial walking and cycling network throughout Gloucestershire.
“The funding will help us to deliver our ambitious 26-mile cycle spine across the county and I’m grateful for all the hard work that went into this successful bid.
“These exciting plans will provide high quality sustainable travel options for our residents.”