The Labour Party supports the pedestrianisation of Cheltenham town centre to improve both the safety and the quality of the environment for shoppers in Cheltenham. This is vital if Cheltenham is to continue to be a thriving regional shopping centre. We therefore support a trial closure of Boots Corner providing that there is a proper impact assessment by the council during the trial period to judge the impact on traffic flows in and around the town centre – and also in nearby residential areas such as St Pauls and All Saints. It is vital that these areas do not become “rat runs” for traffic avoiding the town centre.
We also support residents parking schemes in areas near the town centre which in danger of becoming commuter car parks. However these schemes must be developed in partnership with local residents and the schemes must respect their wishes. As with the previous point, trial schemes which are properly evaluated should be reviewed and amended if necessary. We are not in favour of schemes which appear to place money raising for the County Council above the wishes of local communities. Equally important is the need to dramatically improve public transport in Cheltenham which would have a marked impact on the traffic problems throughout the town.
(Response sent to The Gloucestershire Echo on 29 April 2018 by Malcolm Bride, Cheltenham CLP Chair)