Shrewsbury North West Relief Road: Plea on route going to ministers
Plans for Shrewsbury's long awaited North West Relief Road, which would ease driving conditions for thousands of motorists, could move a huge step closer as Shropshire Council's business case is set to be handed to the Department for Transport next week.
Members of the council's cabinet met yesterday to discuss the relief Road and were updated on progress made by Matt Johnson, the council's strategic transport and contracts manager.
He said that all had progressed well so far and that the business case would be presented to the DfT by the December 22 deadline.
A three-week consultation held earlier this year to garner reactions from the public has formed part of the business case.
Council bosses say the creation of the North West Relief Road would increase prosperity and employment in Shrewsbury, as well as cutting down on traffic jams, and improving air quality.
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "We have taken our time in bringing this to where we are now. In fact it has been in discussion for 50 years.
"It will allow Shropshire Council to put the concept of the NWRR into a modern setting.
"It has cost around £1 million to get to the stage we are at now. That money has come from the LEP (Marches Local Enterprise Partnership) - Shropshire Council has not had to find any of that funding.
"The road will reduce traffic congestion, improve connectivity, improve travel times and improve air quality. It will improve the efficiency of the Shrewsbury transport network and reduce the number of people being killed or seriously injured on the roads in and around the town."
Shropshire Council has released this flythrough video:
Councillor Roger Evans, Lib Dem leader of the council's opposition party, said that the situation was a 'conundrum'.
"We need to know if the Government is going to support us in this or not, if they are going to say yes or no," he said.
"Then we have the debate. We need to look seriously at Shrewsbury and how we are going to tackle traffic in and around the town.
"This has been on the radar for a long time. We do need to look at it seriously even if the Government is not behind it."
Councillor David Minnery said that the new road, which would link the Oxon Link Road to Battlefield , was a 'no brainer'.
Councillor Alan Mosley said that he was concerns that the results of the consultation exercise, which was carried out in October, had been 'relegated to a six line paragraph on page 10' in the business case and added that the consultation had been 'pretty meaningless at this point'.
But Matt Johnson said that should the Government give the scheme its backing, a further in-depth consultation would be carried out.