Dual the A5: Progress made on campaign after cross-border MPs broker talks

Work to push for the A5 to become a dual carriageway is taking place on both sides of the England/Wales border and both sides of the political divide.

The A5 north of Shrewsbury is a dangerous road for motorists but pressure is growing for it to be made a dual-carriageway
The A5 north of Shrewsbury is a dangerous road for motorists but pressure is growing for it to be made a dual-carriageway

The Shropshire Star campaign calling on the government to make the road north of Shrewsbury to the Welsh border into a dual carriageway has almost 5,000 signatures from people not only in the county but across the Welsh border.

The strength of feeling is helping politicians put pressure on the powers-that-be.

Recently Wrexham MP, Ian Lucas and north Shropshire MP, Owen Paterson, held a joint meeting with the minister, Jesse Norman, to explain the strategic important of the A5.

"We have also met with Ken Skates the Welsh Assembly minister who is responsible for roads in Wales," Mr Lucas said.

"There are difficulties because the route from London, through Shropshire, into north Wales, crosses the country border but there is now real pressure for bodies along the border to work together.

Mr Lucas, who used to work in Oswestry and whose parents used to live in Shropshire said he had noticed the volume of traffic increase dramatically in the past two years.

"The traffic that is now using the A5 and the A483 past Wrexham and onto Chester is so much heavy that is was only a couple of years ago," he said.

"There does seem to be a will on both sides of the border to make a difference and I really do believe we have a real opportunity here to make improvements to the road."

News that Dubai-based Hotpack Packaging LLC is expanding its operation into Wrexham with the creation of more than 250 jobs is another reason Mr Lucas says a better transport network is needed.

"The economy is on the up but we have to have the infrastructure to support it."

The MP is also pushing for better rail links to take some of the pressure off the roads.

Shropshire Star readers have taken up the challenge to sign a petition to present to the government.

However we need more signatures if we are to make a real impression.

We are about to cross the 4,000 on-line signature mark and have hundreds of paper signatures.

Anyone who has not yet signed the petition can do so but going on-line to https://www.change.org/p/roads-minister-john-hayes-make-the-a5-a-dual-carriageway-between-shrewsbury-and-chirk, signing one of our forms in the Shropshire Star or calling into the Guildhall in Oswestry.

The petition says the A5 between Montford Bridge north of Shrewsbury and the Welsh border at Chirk is totally inadequate.

"It is a large part of the only section of single carriageway between Felixstowe and Holyhead. It has an appalling accident record with tragic deaths. Traffic crawls and frequently comes to a standstill, damaging lives and businesses across Shropshire and North Wales.

"The Petitioners request that the road be included within the Road Investment Strategy 2 so that it is upgraded to a dual carriageway for its entire length."

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