Shropshire Chamber of Commerce says that more than three quarters of its members support plans for the controversial North West Relief Road in Shrewsbury.
The figures come from a survey carried out by the chamber in a bid to inform its official stance on the project.
Josh Carpenter, Shropshire Chamber’s policy officer, said there had been opposition to the plans, but the majority had voiced support – with some expressing frustration at the length of time it has taken to start the project.
He said: “We had a very big response to this survey, with the majority of our members voicing a view that the relief road is critical for the economic future of the area.
“They feel it would cut down congestion through the centre of Shrewsbury, reduce air pollution in residential areas, and could also bring investment and more jobs into Shropshire.
“It was also noted by some of the supporters that the debate about the road had been going on for far too long already, potentially damaging the economy of Shrewsbury and the wider area.”
He added: “Those who opposed the road point to the fact that it will impact wildlife and woodland, and question whether there really will be long-term benefits.
“Some described it as a waste of money which could be put to better use, such as improving the local public transport network.”
The survey asked chamber members three key questions about the proposed route.
They included: Do businesses currently have difficulty, or believe difficulty exists, travelling round the northern and western edges of Shrewsbury?; Do they think a solution is needed?; Do they think the North West Relief Road is the correct solution?
A total of 86 per cent of responses said they believed difficulties existed and changes were needed – and 78 per cent said the North West Relief Road was the correct solution.