Gloucestershire County Council wants people’s views on the scheme
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Gloucestershire County Council wants people’s views on its plan to make part of Cheltenham as cycle-friendly as Holland. The very flat European country is famous for its considerable use of bicycles and now council bosses here want to try to follow its lead.
They have launched a public engagement exercise as part of a funding bid for a Mini-Holland scheme, which they hope will improve the future of walking and cycling in Cheltenham. The scheme originated in London as part of the London Mayor’s Healthy Streets Approach.
The aim was to make neighbourhoods as cycle-friendly as their Dutch equivalents. As well as reducing car dependency, which reduces pollution, traffic danger and congestion, the benefits of the scheme include increased active travel which improves residents’ health and quality of life.
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The Government now wants to roll-out further Mini-Holland schemes across the country, with the Department for Transport (DfT) inviting local authorities to bid for available funding. As part of its commitment to encourage more walking and cycling, Gloucestershire County Council is looking to secure funding for a Mini-Holland scheme in the proposed area of St Mark’s and the Honeybourne Line.
During a public engagement exercise, which runs from October 19 until November 16, residents, business owners and people who travel or work around the proposed area are being asked to share their views on active travel in Cheltenham and how it could be improved. Feedback is being collected through an online survey.
The council will also be running two pop-up events and two online webinars, where members of the public can speak to the project team to find out more and ask questions. The pop-up events take place on Saturday October 29, noon to 2pm, at Hester’s Way Library and Saturday November 5, noon to 2pm, at Cheltenham Railway Station.
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The online webinars will take place on Wednesday November 2, 6pm to 7.30pm and Tuesday November 8, 6pm to 7.30pm. Registration is required in advance for the online webinars, via the scheme webpage.
Councillor David Gray, the council’s cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “We want to make walking and cycling safer, easier and more enjoyable. By improving the existing local active travel infrastructure, we can support residents in adopting a more active lifestyle.
“This in turn delivers health, social, economic and environmental benefits. As part of our public engagement exercise, we’re really keen to find out what the local community thinks about our proposed scheme for Cheltenham and for them to be directly involved in shaping our final proposals.”
Once the public engagement period has closed, the council will gather all the feedback received and use this to shape and inform the feasibility study for the scheme. The study will be submitted to the DfT on December 23 2022, as part of the bid for capital funding to support implementation of the proposed scheme.
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