Dual the A5 campaign: Success 'would be jewel in the crown'

Shropshire Council is in talks with regional partners as part of its bid to get improvements on the A5 north of Shrewsbury.

The council says that the trunk road is a vital part of the highway network locally as well as nationally and internationally.

Councillor Steve Davenport, portfolio holder for Highways and Transport, says that while dualling the road completely between Montford Bridge and Ruabon would be the jewel in the crown of improvements, there are other, less expensive measures that could be brought in in the shorter term.

He praised the Shropshire Star's campaign calling on roads minister, John Hayes, to include the road in his Road Investment Strategy and to upgrade it to a dual carriageway.

"That would be the jewel in the crown," he said.

Shropshire Council is part of the lobbying body, Midlands Connect, that is pressing for better transport connections, both road an rail, across the region.

The group covers a vast area from Hull to the Welsh border. But it recognises that the A5 through Shropshire is an vital part of the national road network.

It is also working with the Marches Local Enterprise Programme which is also looking at transport corridors along the England/Wales border and is keen to develop links with Welsh councils and the Welsh assembly for cross border work.

"The A5 does not stop at the Shropshire border," Councillor Davenport said.

"It goes all the way to Holyhead as part of the transport link to Ireland."

"We need a holistic approach to the road network."

"The A5 is a local road used by Shropshire people. But is it also a national transport route and, at holiday time it becomes a route for Midlanders to escape to the Welsh coast."

Shropshire Council says it is particularly looking at pinch point on the A5, including the Dobbies roundabout on the Shrewsbury bypass where it meets the A49, Shotatton crossroads and the Oswestry bypass where is joins with the A483.

One short term improvement that has been mooted is to provide more formalised overtaking lanes along the wider sections of the road.

The council says this would help with road safety as driver behaviour often led to inappropriate overtaking.

But officers say it would also help to relieve some of the congestion and help with journey times for commercial drivers.

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