Move to get Shrewsbury on the motorway map
Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin has ordered a review to take place which could see Shrewsbury placed on the UK's official motorway network for the first time.
Mr McLoughlin has instructed his officials to carry out a feasibility study into the reclassification of Shrewsbury's A5 as motorway up to the Preston Island.
It comes following top level talks with Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski last week in a move designed to boost the local economy by attracting multi-national companies to the county town.
If the transport minister approves the plans, it would see the stretch of A5 east of Shrewsbury become additional junctions of the two-lane M54 carriageway.
The M54 currently ends just past the Wellington junction, in Telford. Mr Kawczynski said he had a productive meeting with Mr McLoughlin.
"I reiterated to him that the A5 needs to be reclassified. He acknowledged that the road is currently identical to the M54 and other motorways did not have slip roads, and that it is a big factor for businesses when they are looking to relocate," he said.
"I will now ask officials to look at the feasibility of reclassifying the roads."
Mr Kawczynski has previously said the change in system would bring "tangible benefit for minimal cost".
When the idea was first mooted, the MP said getting the county town recognised on the motorway network could help attract investment into the town.
He said: "I think the time has come to completely re-evaluate the status of the A5. If you're a company from a foreign country they will bring up a UK map and many will only relocate and build a new factory or office if it's actually on a motorway network. So we want Shrewsbury to officially be recognised on the motorway network."
The idea is also being supported by Mayor of Shrewsbury Jon Tandy, who said that the change will show that the town has the same transport links as Telford.
It comes as work continues to get the £100 million North West Relief Road scheme back on the ground with Government funding.
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