Highways England is looking at a £3.5m package to create a cycle-superhighway between Gloucester and Cheltenham, Gloucestershire county council has revealed.
The county council has invested £28,000 in a Highways England study, which looked at better ways for people to cycle between the city and the town. It is hoped that the initiative will help to boost public health and improve air quality along a busy commuter route.
The study supports a £3.5m package of improvements to the B4063, which runs alongside the A40 Golden Valley Bypass.
The Highways England study, which took place over the last year, could lead to up to £3.5m being invested by the government in cycle infrastructure between Cheltenham and Gloucester.
Looking at different solutions to provide a better cycling link between Gloucester and Cheltenham, the study investigated factors such as safety, accessibility, directness, personal security, planning issues, environmental impact and cost.
The proposal, which will now be considered in more detail by Highways England, would see changes to signage, junctions, and road layout to make it easier for people to choose to cycle.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said: “We want to make it easier and safer for people to choose to cycle.
“Cycling helps reduce congestion and improve levels of fitness and wellbeing. This is an important first step in delivering a major upgrade to a crucial link in Gloucestershire’s cycle network.”
A spokesman for Highways England said: “The cycling community are key customers for us and important in encouraging sustainable travel and reducing congestion.
The spokesman added: “Although we still have a lot to do in terms of determining that the study proposal will represent good value for money, the potential scheme is an exciting prospect for us to be able deliver an improvement in a slightly different way that enhances safety and encourages cycling.
“The process to date has been collaborative with Gloucestershire county council colleagues and we look forward to continuing this relationship”
Highways England is a government-owned company with responsibility for managing the core road network in England. Over the summer, Highways England will look at their preferred option in more detail to see if upgrading the road will provide value for money.
If the proposals are considered to be worthwhile, the council has voiced its hope that individual schemes could be designed in detail, and consulted on, over the next year.