Cheltenham's St Margaret's Road traffic lights trial

Traffic lights on a busy Cheltenham road are to be switched off to see if it improves vehicle flow in the town.

The signals along a stretch of St Margaret's Road have been criticised for encouraging drivers to use the parallel St Paul's Road as a "rat-run".

A similar scheme in Portishead, North Somerset, has proved so successful that the six-week trial is still in operation after 16 months.

The experiment is due to take place during the summer.

Jem Williamson, from Cheltenham Development Task Force, said a safety audit is currently under way.

"It does mean being brave. It's about educating drivers and changing styles.

"We have a model here where it is stop-start - people accelerate away and suddenly they are hit by another red traffic light and then they start again.

"We need to break that habit," Mr Williamson added.

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