Source: UK Government
The planned improvement for the A417 will see the last stretch of three miles of single carriageway on the 31-mile A417/A419 route upgraded to dual carriageway.
Highways England announced the preferred route for the scheme, part of the Government’s £15 billion road investment programme, in March this year.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said:
This key route helps people get to work, school, visit friends and family and we need to make sure it is safe.
We are committed to making sure the community and all road users reap the benefits of any upgrade to the route – which will support the local economy, ease congestion and pollution and, of course, will factor in the area’s landscape, environment and history.
I look forward to seeing the outcome of the consultation in due course.
Since the preferred route was announced, the project team has been carrying out further surveys and assessments and the feedback from this consultation will help shape the final proposal that is submitted to planning chiefs.
Highways England Senior Project Manager Mike Goddard said:
We had overwhelming support for our preferred route, with almost three-quarters of respondents at the last consultation in favour of it. We hope that once again members of the public and community groups will take the time to share their views on this more detailed proposal.
The upgrade will bring many benefits, including helping to boost growth and prosperity by making journeys more reliable and improving connectivity between the Midlands and the South West, and more predictable journey times; it will also improve safety for drivers and reduce air pollution from queuing traffic.
The consultation we’re launching today is an important step before submitting a planning application, so we are keen to engage with people and particularly interested to hear views on how the scheme links with other roads and serves the needs of users of the route, local communities and businesses.
As the scheme is in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty the proposals aim to fit into and complement the character of the surrounding landscape.
Highways England has worked closely with many stakeholders in developing proposals that reduce any impact on the environment and enhance areas for wildlife, archaeology, watercourses and public accessibility. This work will include installation of a new green bridge.
Walkers will also benefit with improved access to public footpaths, including the Cotswold Way National Trail and the Gloucestershire Way, helping more people to enjoy the routes safely.
The 3.6-mile section of dual carriageway will be complemented by an extra climbing lane at Crickley Hill for slow moving traffic. A new section of road built through Shab Hill to the east of the existing A417 will re-join the road near the current location of Cowley roundabout and a new junction will be created at Shab Hill with connections to Birdlip and the A436 to Cheltenham and Oxford. The Air Balloon roundabout and Cowley roundabout are to be removed as part of the scheme.
The consultation is running from 27 September to 8 November 2019 and members of the public will get the chance to meet with the project team and talk about the proposals at a series of seven consultation events. More information is available on the scheme web page.
The work to develop options for the Missing Link was made possible by the Government’s £15 billion Road Investment Strategy. Its delivery will be subject to confirmation of funding within the second Road Investment Strategy, which will cover the period between 2020 and 2025.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.