Cycling campaigners now have enough cash to investigate bringing a segregated bike route to the road between Stroud and Chalford.

The Stroud Town and Parish Cycling Group have hit an initial fundraising target to pay for a feasibility study into a route along the A419 / London Road.

“We are really grateful for the funding that has come from a variety of sources, showing the wide support and backing for this project.” said Stroud Town Council project officer Kim Cowan.

The money has been pledged by Stroud Town Council, Brimscombe and Thrupp Parish Council, Stroud Valley Cycle Campaign, Chalford Parish Council, and Gloucestershire County Council, and totals £21k.

It will be held and administered by Stroud Town Council, who are also providing administrative support to the project.

Professor Hugh Barton of Stroud Preservation Trust said: “We’re looking for a cycle path that will offer a continuous route. We know that we have to remove as many barriers as possible for people to be able to take up cycling and reap the health benefits.”

The group have asked two companies to carry out the study - Clifton Emery Design, and Witteveen and Bos.

Part of the study will comprise consultation with members of the public, businesses, town and parish councils, and other stakeholders, such as the Brimscombe Port Development Board.

Martin Whiteside, district councillor for Brimscombe and Thrupp said “It’s important that the study is ambitious, and also gives a variety of options and stages. I’m particularly hopeful that any improvements for cyclists along this route will also improve facilities for pedestrians too, as there are sections of pavement along the road at the moment that come to an end with no safe crossings.”

Rachel Smith, county councillor for Minchinhampton said: “Back in June, 60 people cycled along the A419 to highlight the lack of space for cyclists, over 300 people have signed a petition calling for the route to be funded, and we've had wide ranging support from the parish, town and county councils who have all financially backed the feasibility study, as well as from Stroud Valley Cycle Campaign. I’m really thrilled at how this project is moving forward, and I’m looking forward to the next stage.”

For more information about the project, please contact Kim Cowan at Stroud Town Council.