Putting a spring in your step
Using funds allocated from the Department for Transport’s Capability Fund, the county council’s Thinktravel team will be encouraging residents and commuters to get in their daily step count and dust off their bikes using new cycle paths and pedestrian crossings being built by the council.
The campaign aims to encourage people who go to work or school in West Cheltenham, Staverton, Churchdown and Longlevens to travel by foot or bike. It began in January with the launch of the Active Business Gloucestershire Network, which aims to get organisations working closely together to promote active travel.
Grants of £2,500 are being made available to businesses with match funding to help support their active travel plans.
A travel survey is being conducted with residents and businesses in spring/early summer to find out their travel patterns and if they face any barriers to active travel. Other events planned include cycling activities, organised walks and cycle training sessions.
The initiative comes as a new flagship walking and cycling route is being built along the B4063 between Gloucester and Cheltenham, and as the council completes a new off-road cycle route along the A40 as part of the West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Scheme.
Walking and cycling help to improve air quality in the area, reduce traffic congestion and have mental and physical health benefits.
To encourage people to give walking or cycling a go, some events are taking place for people to take part in, including the Big Walk and Wheel. It is being run by walking and cycling charity Sustrans from 21 March to 1 April 2022 and aims to encourage more families to travel to school actively.
There are prizes to be won and schools in Gloucestershire are being encouraged to take part by signing up at https://bigwalkandwheel.org.uk/
Another event being launched by cycling group Love to Ride, called ‘Ride Anywhere Week’, is being held this week (21 – 27 March). Riders are challenged to pick a pledge and complete it within a week. More details are available at www.lovetoride.net/gloucestershire
Cllr David Gray, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “I hope this initiative will encourage more people to walk or cycle. Active travel creates a healthy and safe environment, as well as helping with climate change, so we want to encourage as many people as possible to enjoy all these benefits.”
Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for road safety, said: “The survey will help us understand how people travel and what support we can provide to help more commuters take up walking and cycling, as part of our commitment to active travel and improving road safety in Gloucestershire.”
For more information about the B4063 walking and cycling route see www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/B4063
If you would like to find out more about cycle training sessions please see www.thinktravel.info/bike/bikeability-training/
Active travel will help us work towards a Greener Gloucestershire by reducing carbon emissions from transport. To find out more follow #GreenerGloucestershire on social media, visit Greener Gloucestershire – Gloucestershire County Council and sign up to receive updates via our Greener Gloucestershire newsletter.