The Battle Between Clean Air And Cars In Cheltenham

Cheltenham is known to be a spa town because of the number of mineral springs in the area as well as the popular horse racing festival. A battle is currently brewing in the city. One which guests of a hotel in Cheltenham City Centre might have noticed. This is after a landmark of a stone fountain at the centre, which used to serve as a roundabout for trucks, cars and buses banned the entrance of private vehicles. The local government constructed a tiny plaza surrounding the fountain which is now called Boots Corner but it did not stop the traffic from congesting the area.

This is the time the council decided to take things a step further by banning the entrance of vehicles except for buses and taxis.This is part of the measure they are taking to decrease congestion as well as pollution. The goal of the council is to prioritize the people over traffic.

What they did not anticipate is the fury from the people. There were letters of complaint sent to the local paper, they have forwarded their concern to the MP, they have posted rants in social media platforms and the most recent was that they organized a protest through Facebook spearheaded by Rob Chandler, a local rights activist who also works as a driver for Deliveroo. Chandler and his colleagues are having a hard time navigating the area because Boots Corner is no longer accessible to them since June.

Statistics from the council revealed that after four months of shutting down Boots Corner to vehicles, the number of cyclists rose to 206 per cent, the pedestrian footfall increased by 84 per cent while the number of vehicles was reduced by 85 per cent.

Oppositions said that vehicles that were band from the area simply moved on to other routes thus creating traffic in those areas. This also resulted to longer travels. Alex Chalk, a local MP, said that he has been receiving a lot of complaints therefore he is urging the reversal of the scheme.

While people who used their cars are complaining, cyclists are happy because it helps in reducing air pollution in the area. Even those guests staying at a hotel in Cheltenham City Centre have seen the difference because of the imposed ban.