Gloucestershire County Council has been awarded £12.8million from the government’s Levelling Up Fund, providing a cash injection into sustainable and active travel in the county.
The full bid of £12.822m has been awarded to support significant transport improvements through Gloucester city, connecting what has been known as “the missing link of cycle routes” in the heart of the county.
The funding will breathe life into the vision to connect the recently enhanced Gloucester and Sharpness Canal Towpath with the A40 West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Scheme, via Gloucester and the B4063 cycle path. This would ultimately provide a 26 mile cycle ‘spine’ through the county from Stroud to Bishops Cleeve, allowing the county council to create a substantial local cycling and walking network, helping people to get about sustainably in residential areas.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said, “I’m absolutely delighted by the news Gloucestershire will receive a significant boost to sustainable transport. Our long term goals to tackle climate change and reduce carbon emissions must include sustainable modes of travel, and I believe building a substantial and safe network for cyclists and pedestrians is going to transform our county. This funding allows us to fully fund these ambitions for Gloucestershire’s future.
”The bid supports improved access to and from the docks area of Gloucester, a former industrial area which has transformed into a thriving and dynamic mixed community of businesses, visitors and residents. It will also link the docks to the city centre and beyond through a sustainable travel corridor, helping students and employees to access the hospital, university and local colleges from residential areas.
The cycle path will complete a ‘missing link’, connecting the recently upgraded Gloucester and Sharpness Canal Towpath through the city centre to Cheltenham via already committed funding. This will be complemented by addressing a pinch point on the Gloucester Southwest Bypass (GSWB) at Llanthony Road which will result in improved journey times for the 25,000 vehicles that use it daily.
Investing in cycling and walking infrastructure will help the council work towards a ‘Greener Gloucestershire’ by improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions from transport. Cycling and walking also improves the health and wellbeing of its residents.