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Cheltenham Borough Council formally opposes Air Balloon roundabout plans

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 12, 2013

By JACK MAIDMENT POLITICAL REPORTER

The Air Balloon roundabout

The Air Balloon roundabout

Comments (8)

TRANSPORT Minister Norman Baker will be questioned by Cheltenham councillors over plans for the Air Balloon roundabout when he visits next week.

They have vowed to demand he stops the controversial proposals for the spot.

A cross-party delegation will head him off when he arrives to see the work being done to double the railway line between Swindon and Kemble on February 20.

Proposals by the Highways Agency would see motorists heading towards Cheltenham from Cirencester being banned from turning right at the busy roundabout.

Fears have been raised about what impact this restriction could have on congestion, pollution and increased rat-running in the town, particularly in Leckhampton.

A motion to oppose the plans received unanimous support when it was presented to Cheltenham Borough Council on Friday afternoon.

The motion calls on the Highways Agency to withdraw the plans and draw up a new one which will tackle congestion.

Councillor Andrew McKinlay (LD, Up Hatherley), who laid out the motion, said: "The fundamental issue is that, even by the Highways Agency's own admission, this would only make a marginal difference.

"If that is the case, why are we doing it when we know it will make a big difference elsewhere?

"This proposal is not going to solve the problems but it will allow the Highways Agency to say 'well, we have put money into this' so it will go back down to the bottom of the list."

Councillor Anne Regan (C, Warden Hill) said numerous parish councils have already voiced concerns.

She added: "We are extremely dismayed by these plans and we do not believe that they are looking with the local residents or the residents further afield in mind.

"They have got to look in to what they are suggesting and come up with some proper plans for that area.

A petition has been started to oppose the scheme by Councillor Klara Sudbury (LD, College) with dozens of people already signing up.

The stated aim of the Highways Agency's plans for the roundabout is to ease congestion in the area.

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8 comments

  • raggeh  |  February 13 2013, 10:14AM

    This is bizarre, how can these changes have any kind of positive effect?

    Rate   1
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  • djrose_mx5  |  February 12 2013, 8:03PM

    Petition URL posted on my facebook and also sent out to many people via email. Good petition, well worded. I would urge everyone to share the link via facebook, there is a FB button on the petition page. Good luck in getting many thousands of responses.

    Rate   1
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  • photoshop2010  |  February 12 2013, 7:23PM

    Please sign the petition at http://tinyurl.com/a3uv3xe

    Rate   2
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  • djrose_mx5  |  February 12 2013, 1:54PM

    I know 'we' are short of cash but the only solution is to join up the dual carriageway, where it ends before Nettleton Bottom, and the A417 at the bottom of Crickley Hill with it being dual carriageway all the way. It would be expensive but it's the only solution, and not as expensive as the tunnel that's been called for over the past few years. Otherwise we've just got to put up with the chaos that's reigned for years and it starts before the dual carriageway ends due to the build up of traffic caused by it going to single carriageway.

    Rate   5
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  • agent006  |  February 12 2013, 1:21PM

    The mistake they're making is to assume that Norman Baker will listen to anyone, which by past example is unlikely.

    Rate   1
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  • Flat-Broke Films Ltd  |  February 12 2013, 11:51AM

    I think that CBC have a right to be concerned because the displaced traffic will have very little choice but to use the A46 through Shurdington which already suffers from serious delays at peak times. This would then occur throughout the day leading up to Bath Road and the lanes off trying to access Leckhampton. Traffic would also use the road towards Badgeworth and Cold Pool Lane through Up Hatherley as an alternative route as it does now, but to a greater extent. The real answer of course is to replace the Air Balloon roundabout with a new expensive layout instead of this very cheap option that hasn't really been thought through properly.

    Rate   14
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  • Matt1006  |  February 12 2013, 9:41AM

    Good on CBC. They can see it's madness. Shame the HA might ignore anything CBC has to say about it, as the Air Balloon isn't within the CBC boundary. But I suspect the HA are going to ignore all opposition and carry out the trial run anyway...

    Rate   6
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  • Matt1006  |  February 12 2013, 9:13AM

    Good on CBC. They can see it's madness. Shame the HA might ignore anything CBC has to say about it, as the Air Balloon isn't within the CBC boundary. But I suspect the HA are going to ignore all opposition and carry out the trial run anyway...

    Rate   2
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  • Apothegm_  |  February 12 2013, 6:19AM

    TiG: why not move the picture of the shaven-headed boy from this article to where it belongs, in the "Cleeve School pupil shaves head for Cancer Research UK" article?

    Rate   -1
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