Plans to introduce a bus lane in Benhall have met with strong opposition from residents.

Over 5’000 signatures have been collected for the petition against the bus plan.

At the county council meeting in Gloucester on Friday morning, resident Martin Morley put forward a petition followed by a debate.

The three main reasons why petitioners signed against the bus plan are that it is poor value for money, loss of green space loss and lack of transparency.

Mr Morley said; “Local people do want to see good transport but they want to see value for money and they are really upset about the loss of green loss and trees to be cut down and Cheltenham is renowned for its green spaces”

Councillor Vernon Smith, chairman of the Local Transport Board is supporting the plans for the bus lane.

He said; “I know this is an important issue in Cheltenham, the local transport scheme will decide whether to go ahead, not the county council.”

Spokesperson at the county council meeting, Simon Ward also agrees with the scheme, “I’m in favour of bus lanes because people will be encouraged to use public transport”

Alex Chalk Conservative MP for Cheltenham has contacted both councillors on the issue to object to the scheme.

Cheltenham Borough Council have not yet put forward a view on the plans

County Councillor Klara Sudbury (Liberal Democrat councillor for Charlton Kings) said, “It’s Cheltenham Borough council’s fault that the scheme is in place, the residents only have a small amount of trees to protect them from traffic.”

Bus company Stagecoach feel that they will attract more people to the buses with the new bus lane as it saves time.

However Norman Elliott disagrees, please hear more from the clip below.

The Gloucestershire local transport board will be meeting on 10 November to discuss plans further.

However a final decision will not be made with the council until February 2016.

https://soundcloud.com/studentjournalists-1/bus-lane-mixdown

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