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Elmbridge Court park and ride moves a step closer

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: March 27, 2014

Elmbridge Court roundabout

Elmbridge Court roundabout

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AT last - major improvements at Gloucestershire’s busiest roundabout are set to happen.

A park and ride for 1,000 vehicles, junction improvements and more bus priority measures are on the way to cut congestion on the three lane Elmbridge Court roundabout.

It’s a key junction on the A40 for Gloucester, Forest of Dean, Cotswolds and Cheltenham traffic and improvements have been called for, for more than a dozen years.

A planning application has been submitted by Gloucestershire County Council for its estimated £16.5 million Elmbridge Transport Scheme.

Commuters who sit in long queues every day are hopeful it will be complete as soon as possible.

“It’s been ages since this was first knocked about and if you ask anyone in a queue around that roundabout, they will tell you it needs some big changes,” said commuter Pete Smith, who travels from the Newent area to Cheltenham five days a week.

It’s also one of the county’s most dangerous junctions, with dozens of collisions recorded by Crashmap.com there since 2005.

In December 2011, the Department for Transport (DfT) awarded Gloucestershire County Council £14.1m towards building the so-called Elmbridge Transport scheme.

A consultation was carried out with residents early in 2013 and the county council’s cabinet agreed the scheme could be progressed later that year.

The scheme includes major junction improvements at Elmbridge Roundabout, bus priority measures to improve services between Cheltenham and Gloucester and a 1,000-vehicle park and ride at Elmbridge Court on a seven hectare site.

The project includes the construction of a new bus gate and bus lane on the A40 westbound carriageway as it approaches the Arle Court Roundabout at the Cheltenham end of the Golden Valley road.

The changes are designed to encourage commuters to use buses instead of cars, to reduce congestion and cut vehicle emissions.

If all goes to plan, the park and ride site and improvements are likely to be complete by Autumn 2016. Costs over and above government funding would be met primarily from developer contributions, the council says.

The application will be assessed independently by the council’s planning committee.

Councillor Will Windsor Clive, cabinet member for planning and infrastructure, said: “This work forms part of our wider plans to improve the transport system in the county over the next few years.

“There’s no doubt that this project will give the local construction industry a massive boost and, more generally, it signifies a long-term investment in the local economy designed to help the county to grow and thrive.”

In March 2013 when the city council’s planning committee was consulted on it, it was hoped the scheme would be completed by 2015.

It’s an improvement that has been called for, for more than a dozen years.

In 2001, Gloucester City Council, Gloucestershire County Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council appointed a consultant to assess seven possible new sites for park and rides to the east, north and west of Gloucester.

They were opposite Highnam Court at the A48/A40 junction, Linton Farm opposite the A40/B4215 junction, Richard's Wood off the Over Causeway on Alney Island, Drymeadow Farm at Innsworth off the A40 Northern Bypass, the DEFRA site off the Elmbridge Court roundabout, he Gloucester business park link road site, and Henly Bank, on the A46 at Brockworth. The Elmbridge site was favoured by consultants Halcrow.

In 2005 a scheme which included a park and ride at Elmbridge Court was proposed, but was shelved in 2010 by the Department of Transport, as a cost cutting measure.

A parkway railway station as part of that development was dropped too.

A decision by the planning committee is expected this summer, with design, procurement and funding approval by next Spring. Then construction work would start in Summer 2015, and it would be ready by Autumn 2016.

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5 comments

  • jas37  |  March 27 2014, 9:47PM

    bdbear, I have not seen up to date stats but the last figures that I recall showed a passenger split of 60/40. 60% of overall passengers travelled into Gloucester and 40% to Cheltenham. However this may have been before the St Oswald's service was withdrawn but it does show the potential of the Elmbridge Court Park and ride.

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  • bdbear  |  March 27 2014, 1:20PM

    Sorry don,t know what happened there . The only way it makes sense for it be aqt Glos end is if later on the new railway station for Glos and Chelt will be there .

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  • bdbear  |  March 27 2014, 1:17PM

    Yes i know that the one at Elmbridge is to serve both . Lets face it the Arle court one is really popular , there will be alot more bus going to Chelt than Glos or if they kep to the same times say a bus every 10 mins then the Chelt will always be fuller ,so it has always made sense for it to be at the Chelt end of the bypass . T

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  • Apothegm_  |  March 27 2014, 12:47PM

    I think you'll find that Arle Court serves Cheltenham, not Gloucester.

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  • bdbear  |  March 27 2014, 11:43AM

    Will the park and ride just be another white elephant like the cattle market one . If you are going to expand the park and ride then it should be by expanding Arle court one

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