Work starts on the next phase of the Gloucestershire Cycle Spine

Work on creating the Gloucestershire Cycle Spine — a 26-mile walking and cycling corridor that will link Stroud to Bishop's Cleeve, via Gloucester and Cheltenham — is underway, with construction due to begin on the new B4063 cycle route in Longlevens in February 2024.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
The Gloucestershire Cycle Spine will link Stroud to Bishop's Cleeve, via Gloucester and Cheltenham — with works planned around the Cheltenham Racecourse roundabout this year. Image © Gloucestershire County Council

Construction work on the next phase of the county's marathon cycleway, the Gloucestershire Cycle Spine, is due to begin in February 2024.

Once complete, the 26-mile corridor will link Stroud, Gloucester, Cheltenham and Bishop's Cleeve — vastly improving Gloucestershire's walking and cycling network, as well as creating active transport links between homes, workplaces, education hubs and public transport facilities.

It supports the county council's vision for a greener Gloucestershire, reducing residents' reliance on vehicles to cut carbon emissions, in line with Gloucestershire County Council's aim to achieve net zero by 2045.

Works planned for this year include the next stage of the B4063 cycle route in Longlevens, which is due to start on Monday 5 February 2024, with contractors Wills Bros carrying out the job.

The B4063 Gloucester to Cheltenham stretch will link the two via Longlevens, Churchdown and Staverton.

Residents can find out more about the planned works at a 'meet the contractor' event, held at The Chamwell Charity Centre on Wednesday 31 January 2024, where they can put questions about the project and its delivery to representatives from Wills Bros, Gloucestershire County Council and design consultant AtkinsRéalis.

Meanwhile, section two of the A435 Cycleway, between the Cheltenham Racecourse roundabout and Bishop's Cleeve will be put in motion later this year.

The work is being delivered in two phases: phase one, linking the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway bridge to the GE roundabout, is set to begin in summer 2024, coinciding with urgent ground stabilisation work near the rail bridge.

While the designs for phase two, from the Cheltenham Racecourse roundabout to the GWSR bridge, are currently under development and will be made available later in the year.

To facilitate the planned works, hedgerow will be relocated from the east side of Evesham Road to the new highway boundary, further east. The relocation and replanting is scheduled to begin in February 2024, ahead of the bird nesting season and the start of phase one construction works this summer.

It also presents an opportunity to strengthen the hedgerow over time, by only transporting native species and introducing a species-rich mix of non-invasive shrubs and trees, to improve biodiversity.

After it's finished, section two will link up with the nearly-finished section one, which spans the Honeybourne Line to the Cheltenham Racecourse roundabout — creating a stretch of cycleway between Cheltenham and Bishop's Cleeve that will improve access to destinations like the Racecourse, Pittville Park, the leisure centre and Prince of Wales stadium, as well as the University of Gloucestershire campuses and Cheltenham Spa train station.

Residents can have their say at the B4063 'meet the contractor' event, taking place from 11am to 7pm at The Chamwell Charity Centre on Wednesday 31 January 2024.

There's also an online survey for residents to comment on the A435 stretch of the project stretch of the project at gloucestershire.gov.uk/a435cycleway, available until Thursday 7 March 2024.

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