GCHQ transport changes will ease headache for drivers
SECURITY chiefs have insisted new transport schemes around GCHQ will help ease congestion and make the centre more environmentally-friendly.
Steps to improve traffic flow at Arle Court Roundabout, cycle network modifications and a new bus link between GCHQ's Benhall site and Charlton Kings would ease rush hour misery for drivers, bosses at the listening post hoped.
The changes will be paid for through a £375,000 Government fund, topped up by section 106 obligations, agreed when planning consent was granted for surrounding developments.
No new parking spaces are planned in an attempt to encourage the 5,000 GCHQ staff to use public transport instead of their cars. A GCHQ spokesperson said an excess from the project fund could be used towards improving Benhall residents parking.
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"These latest initiatives will not only help employees and visitors to travel to our Benhall site in a more environmentally-friendly way, but will also help reduce the pressures on those living nearby, something we are always keen to do," he added. Bus provider Stagecoach hopes to improve the frequency of its A and 94 service.
A new Stagecoach service to Charlton Kings begins on January 28 with cycle network improvements at the Coronation Square junction of Marsland Road and Princess Elizabeth Way due to be in place by the end of the year.
Deputy leader of the county council, Paul McLain, said the plans are a great example of how the council is working to improve transport options.
"It's a late Christmas present for the town, bringing together an exciting package of changes," he said. "These initiatives should have real benefits for Benhall, Cheltenham and for GCHQ employees.
"I'm particularly pleased to get the bus link extended from my own patch, Charlton Kings, via the train station to GCHQ."