£16.5m traffic scheme approved

Relief is in sight for hundreds of commuters struggling through the Golden Valley Bypass everyday as the multimillion pound Elmbridge Transport Scheme was approved today.

The congestion hot spot on the A40 between Cheltenham and Gloucester is thought to be one of the busiest highways in the county – and is expected to get busier.

At Shire Hall today, Gloucestershire County Council approved plans for a 1,000-space park and ride site next to the Elmbridge Court Business Park as well as a series of improvements to the Elmbridge Court roundabout.

In addition, priority bus measures are to be installed on the approach to Arle Court roundabout.

The scheme aims to cut congestion on the roundabout as well as reduce the number of cars travelling to and from Gloucester and Cheltenham.

As well as for commuters, the park and ride is thought could be sued for large events being held in either the town or city.

In December 2011, the Department for Transport (DfT) awarded the county £14.1m towards the project which has been combined with developer contributions totalling £16.5m for the project.

Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member for transport planning, Cllr Will Windsor Clive said: “With traffic levels at Elmbridge Court expected to increase significantly in the coming years making delays more likely, especially at peak times, this scheme is vital for the economic prosperity of the county.

“We are making adjustments to the roundabout to cut congestion and making bus services more attractive so that people can choose to take the bus rather than drive their car, at least for part of their journey if they wish.

“With this project and the recent C&G and Walls Roundabouts Improvement Scheme we are working hard to cut congestion on key routes in our county.”

The plans now have to be run past the Secretary of State Eric Pickles, as the site is on the green belt.

If he decides not to call in the application, it is hoped that the project could be completed by autumn 2016.

For more information on the scheme, click here.