Work is underway to look at improving sustainable transport links between Cirencester and Kemble after the Council and its partners have received £115,000 to study what options may be feasible.
Cotswold District Council is working with partners including Gloucestershire County Council and Cirencester Community Rail Project Group to assess and evaluate possible improvements to public transport links, with options including enhanced and express bus services, Demand Responsive Transport and Very Light Rail.
Active Travel (walking and cycling) links are also being considered by a separate project run by Gloucestershire County Council that is seeking to identify improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure in and around Cirencester.
Robert Weaver, Chief Executive of Cotswold District Council said: “It’s good to see these new transport studies moving forward with partners to help improve sustainable transport options within the District.
“This study will help us identify potential options for new infrastructure that can enable and support people to travel to and from Cirencester without needing to use a car.
“We hope any project identified could help opportunities for employment, education and leisure while helping residents and visitors to make climate-conscious choices with travel.
This work has been made possible thanks to grants from the Gloucestershire Strategic Economic Development Fund (£65k) and the Department for Transport’s Restoring Your Railway fund (£50k) and is a key element of the Council’s ambition to tackle the climate emergency. Over the last year, Cotswold District Council has also provided grant funding of £23,000 to support the Cirencester Community Rail Project Group to prepare a Strategic Outline Business Case for an Very-Light Railway between Kemble Station and Cirencester.
All or part of the former railway line between Kemble and Cirencester will be assessed as a possible option for potential new travel routes to look at the viability of different modes of public transport, which will include the Very-Light Rail proposal, led by Cirencester Community Rail Project.
The Very-Light Rail proposal is seeking to build a single-track line that will follow the old route as far as possible before terminating near the centre of Cirencester. The service would then link in with the recently dualled line between Swindon and Kemble.
The Cirencester Community Rail Project is one of only 38 successful proposals out of nearly 200 applications chosen by the Department for Transport to progress to the next application round, where a more detailed Business Case for this option will be evaluated.
The Kemble to Cirencester transport link is one of a number of transport improvements for Cirencester and the surrounding area that are currently being assessed. Other current studies include the Cirencester Local Cycling and Walking Plan which Gloucestershire County Council expect to have completed in Spring 2022.