Fears that relief road will add to Shrewsbury congestion

Shrewsbury's North West Relief Road will bring more traffic onto roads around the town, not less, a public meeting was told.

An artist's impression of the North West Relief Road
An artist's impression of the North West Relief Road

People living in the north of the town are extremely worried about the extra traffic that could clog up their roads according to some of those at the virtual meeting held on Wednesday.

The meeting was called after it was announced that the planning application for the relief road, running from the Churncote roundabout to Battlefield, was being lodged with Shropshire Council's planning department.

The four-mile stretch of road if granted planning permission is expected to cost around £87 million.

David Flemming said he lived on the Berwick Road.

"I am a civil engineer and I am seriously concerned that there will be an awful lot more traffic on Berwick Road and other roads north of the town. I don't see this road helping in the slightest."

Emma Bullard from Shrewsbury Green Party said she was aware of many people who feared that the Coton Hill and Ellesmere Road junction, already a bottleneck, would see more traffic because of the relief road.

She said the reasons cited for the road included reducing congestion and greenhouse gas and improving the quality of life and road safety in Shrewsbury.

Challenge

"We challenge whether it will reduce congestion. All roads that lead to the relief road would have increased amount of traffic on them," she said.

Emma gave a presentation to the meeting - attended by 40 people. She said that the building of the relief road would add to the problem of adding to the carbon emission footprint at a time when Shropshire council had recognised that there was a climate emergency.

"Construction alone will use create an extra 72,000 tonnes of CO2," she said.

In other parts of the UK the Hereford bypass had been cancelled as had the M4 link in South Wales.

"Lockdown has seen a lot more people walking and cycling and working from home. Bodies like the AA have recognised traffic will reduce, employers have realised they don't have to have people in offices and employees can work without having to commute. But this road is planning for increased car dependency," she added.

The meeting also discussed using Community Infrastructure Levy (Cil) toward the cost of the road.

"That Cil money is supposed to be used for improvement across Shropshire," Emma said.

The presentation also looked at the road crossing the Shelton source protection zone which surrounds the Shelton water supply site for Shrewsbury.

Diane Monether said she was worried about what would happen if there should be a major incident on that road'

"What plans will they put in place to protect our water supply," she said.

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