Oswestry A5 dualling plans take step forward
Plans to transform the A5 at Oswestry into a dual carriageway have taken another significant step forward, after they were presented to government.
Councillor Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s portfolio holder for highways and transport, gave a speech at Westminster last week at a meeting attended by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and Jesse Norman, under-secretary of state for transport.
He said getting the A5 dualled around Oswestry was his “next battle” after securing £54 million government funding for Shrewsbury’s North West Relief Road earlier this year.
Councillor Davenport was speaking at Westminster as part of a visit by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, which promotes and supports businesses across the region.
He said he outlined the needs for road infrastructure in the region, prioritising the dualling project and said he was “definitely winning the battle”.
“It was a successful visit and a pleasing presentation for which both government transport ministers were in the room," he said.
“It is a priority now to get the dualling of the A5/A483 around Oswestry sorted and we will get this done.
“We showed with the relief road funding that teamwork between our department and our MPs can get the best business case possible onto the table to secure this funding.
“This was another step forward for the plans.”
Councillor Davenport’s deputy at Shropshire Council, Councillor Simon Harris, said he was pleased with how the work was progressing.
He added: “Steve did a fantastic job in Westminster and these dualling plans will happen.
“We are very confident with how the talks are progressing and we are doing a great job in making the right moves towards it.
“It is something that would be of great benefit to the county. It would open up the north west of the county to many new opportunities.”
It is the only section of the A5, which runs between London and Holyhead, to be single carriageway.
Figures released last year showed that since 1991, there have been more than 1,785 casualties on the A5 north of Shrewsbury up to the Welsh border at Chirk.
At the last count, 1,407 of these were slight, 320 were serious and 58 were fatal.
The road is seen as a vital link between the West Midlands and Wales.
The Shrewsbury North West Relief Road itself will also be a huge boost to residents, motorists and workers in the Oswestry area, a councillor said, as it will take traffic away from the village of Baschurch and Ruyton-XI-Towns.
Councillor Nick Bardsley, member for Baschurch and Ruyton, said it will make the roads safer and be a boost to businesses.