Agenda item

Public and Member Questions and Petitions

These must be received no later than 12 noon on Tuesday 22nd February.



Question from Alan Bailey to the Cabinet Member-Climate Emergency, Councillor Max Wilkinson


Page 13 Para 4 of the Connecting Cheltenham Plan indicates that CBC has a key role to play in influencing transport investment. What detailed plans have been developed with the key players to deliver safer streets? In particular, the 20mph streets now common in other towns.

Background: Traffic in Leckhampton is severe. New development Leckhampton including a new school have now been approved. With other likely to follow. How will the infrastructure be improved to make the streets safe? Essentially delivering Sustainable transport and supporting alternative modes of transport (The Connecting Cheltenham plan). The individual plans do not connect Leckhampton to Cheltenham, GCHQ and Shurdington.


Response from Cabinet Member


Thank you Mr Bailey for the question.

The Borough Council developed the Connecting Cheltenham report to provide an evidenced and informed submission to the review of the Gloucestershire Local Transport Plan (LTP).  The LTP is much improved in its current version.  However, we agree that the missing thing that flows from this is the detailed County Council plans and funding packages that will drive delivery.

You are right that 20mph streets are common in other towns and cities. Unfortunately, the Borough Council has no powers to implement 20mph speed limits.  These can only be introduced by the Highways Authority. We see this intervention as an important one to encourage a shift to walking and cycling rather than car use.  As you rightly note, this forms part of the Connecting Cheltenham Strategy. To evidence this we undertook a public consultation in 2017 to test the appetite of residents for such a scheme, with the intention that this would assist with developing a pilot project in Cheltenham. The results were sent to the County Council.  To date, this pilot scheme has not been taken on by the County Council despite requests by me, Cabinet colleagues, councillors, parishes, residents and community groups.

Walking and cycling makes a positive contribution to improving health and tackling obesity, improving accessibility, tackling congestion, reducing carbon emissions, contributing to a safer environment and making residential areas more pleasant for local people.

We have asked questions about how specific schemes, such as those you have referenced, could be realised.  We have been told by the County Council that these will need to be included in the Local Cycling and Walking Improvement Plan (LCWIP).  We have requested more information about this process, but we are yet to receive confirmation about how local communities can be involved. Despite this, we continue to be in contact with the County Council.  The West Cheltenham Transport Improvement Scheme is an example where we have been working with the County Council to drive improved connections, linking this area of Cheltenham to the rest of the town.  We also work with other partners, such as Network Rail and GWR, to drive opportunities for enhanced connectivity, including the Honeybourne Line extension.

With specific reference to Leckhampton, proposed schemes will require full assessment through the planning process. The new Leckhampton School was determined by the County Council and Cheltenham Borough Council will be determining the residential scheme as allocated through the Cheltenham Plan.

We will continue to work with the County Council, parishes and communities.


Supplementary question


As background, I live at 98 Shurdington Road, Leckhampton, where traffic is severe. There are a number of new developments in Leckhampton, including the school and a number of housing developments which have been approved. Essentially, we do not have a sustainable transport system, and individual plans do not connect Leckhampton to Cheltenham, GCHQ and Shurdington. I see the introduction of a 20mph limit as being essential to this, and want to establish where we are in terms of getting one.

The Cabinet Member’s responses have been good, but as I understand it, the bottom line is that CBC has made an application to GCC, which has gone through various stages and is now at the scrutiny committee, and will be up to them to decide how to deliver. The key factor is the finances – whoever is paying for it will be in the driving seat. The responses I received did not answer this. Who will be paying for it, out of CBC, GCC and national government?


Response from Cabinet Member


Thank you Mr Bailey, you ask two very good questions there. On the first, you are right that GCC would be responsible for implementing any scheme as the highways authority, and it is currently at their scrutiny stage which suggests some progress is being made. The motions that we and our GCC colleagues have put forward over the years and the consultation run by Cllr. McKinlay in 2017 have made a difference, although not as fast as we would have liked.

On the second question, funding will of course be key to the scheme as the TRO process can be extremely expensive. However, if one TRO can be put in place, we could then look at a borough-wide scheme, for which the cost could be limited. Typically, funding would come from the highways authority, but we will hopefully get a clear answer on this during the scrutiny process. I would be happy to discuss this with our colleagues at Shire Hall, and rest assured we will continue to campaign for 20mph limits.


Question from Alan Bailey to the Cabinet Member-Climate Emergency, Councillor Max Wilkinson


The Parish Council has raised a motion calling for 20 mph speed limits. This appears to be agreed in the Connecting Cheltenham Plan and the Transport Plan but as yet is indicating unfunded. What is the financial plan (how will this be funded)?


Response from Cabinet Member


Thank you for your question, Mr Bailey.  Cheltenham Borough Council has long supported the introduction of 20mph speed limits and we have passed at least two motions in favour on 20mph limits in Cheltenham. The Connecting Cheltenham document also identifies the need for 20mph limits.  A Borough Council consultation on 20mph limits in 2017 was received positively by residents.  The results were sent to Gloucestershire County Council.

Most recently, Gloucestershire County Council referred this matter to its scrutiny function.  We are hopeful that this will result in a formal proposal to introduce 20mph limits in Cheltenham’s residential areas.  The County Council, as Highways Authority, would be responsible for delivering such a scheme, as acknowledged in a recent positive letter I received from my counterpart at Shire Hall.

I support the Parish Council in its motion for 20mph speed limits and will continue to request that Gloucestershire County Council allocates funding for 20mph schemes. 


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