Dual the A5: Shropshire Council leader adds voice to Star's campaign

The leader of Shropshire Council has thrown his weight behind a campaign to dual the A5, saying the move could play a vital part in the economic development of the county.

Shropshire Council leader backs the A5 campaign
Shropshire Council leader backs the A5 campaign

Councillor Peter Nutting said that he is “fully supportive” of efforts to make the road dual carriageway between Shrewsbury and Oswestry.

His comments come a day after Shropshire Council unveiled a comprehensive economic strategy designed to bring more business to the county and to help those already here grow even further.

He said: “I have always fully supported the dualling of the A5 from Shrewsbury to Oswestry. If you travel through Europe people say you can travel from Naples to Northern Ireland and the only place you reach a single carriageway is in Shropshire and that’s a nonsense.”

The Shropshire Star launched its campaign to dual the A5 on Monday.

Since then more than 2,000 people have backed a petition calling on roads minister John Hayes to include the A5 between Montford Bridge, north of Shrewsbury, and the Welsh border at Chirk in the Government’s national roads strategy and upgrade it to a dual carriageway.

Councillor Nutting said that the move would make it easier for companies to do business, potentially attracting more businesses to the county, or allowing existing firms to expand.

He said: “In terms of Shropshire council’s economic strategy we feel improvements to the A5 and the A49 are vital.”

The A5

Councillor Nutting, who represents Copthorne in Shrewsbury and has advocated the creation of an airport to help boost the region, said he had raised the issue of the A5 with the West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street.

He said: “I have been talking to Andy Street and he is very supportive of the campaign and he’s looking to see if there is anything he could do with the support of the combined authorities.”

Earlier this week Shropshire’s other most senior councillor, Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, offered his support for the Shropshire Star campaign.

He said: “Connectivity is the number one issue for businesses coming to Telford & Wrekin.

“They want to ensure that they can get to and from places easily.

“Dualling the A5 would make a big difference. It would help businesses coming in from Wales and Shropshire but also people taking goods and services out of Telford.”

He added: “It would also make a big difference for people from Telford & Wrekin going on holiday to Wales.

“It can only be good news for everyone.

“I would praise the Shropshire Star for this positive campaign.”

Currently the 18-mile stretch of the A5 from Montford Bridge to Chirk carries tens of thousands of vehicles per day, and has witnessed a number of crashes.

With the exception of the Nesscliffe bypass, it is the only section of single carriageway road between Dover and Holyhead, a key strategic route linking the UK to Ireland.

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