Cycling increases by 206 per cent after cars banned

A car ban in a town centre led to a 206 per cent increase in bike movements, according to Cheltenham Borough Council.

The council decided to ban most traffic from part of the town earlier this year, with only cyclists, taxis, buses and emergency services allowed to use ‘Boots Corner’ and the high street area of Cheltenham since June as part of a trial.

The council has also revealed that since the trial has begun there has been an 84 per cent increase in footfall.

Councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, said: “Overall, the data so far suggests that the trial road closure has not have a negative impact on visitors to the high street, actually the reverse.

“We can see that people travel into town far more by public transport, bike or on foot.

“These are the people who are spending money in our shops, enjoying our cafes, bars and restaurants and our wider cultural offer.

“The results so far build on last week’s announcement that the last twelve months have been the most successful ever for The Brewery Quarter in Cheltenham.”

There were increases in footfall and bike use on all days and at all times sampled, from data taken during the first two weeks of the trial.

The data compares to samples collected before the trial changes were implemented.

Sustrans director James Cleeton said: “The initial findings from the trial are extremely encouraging and demonstrate the positive impact reducing vehicles from the centre can have.

“An 84 per cent increase in pedestrian movement can only have a positive impact on the local economy, air quality and create a vibrant place to spend time and travel through.

“We will be watching with interest to see the impact the trial has on the immediate and surrounding areas of the town.’’

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