Plans for the £87 million Shrewsbury North West Relief Road, which would stretch for four miles from the Churncote roundabout to Battlefield, have been roundly criticised by Better Transport Shrewsbury and other groups over the environmental damage it could do.
But Shropshire Council’s transport portfolio holder, Councillor Steve Davenport, insists sustainable travel is one of his main goals.
And he says if the road isn’t built, major plans to redevelop Shrewsbury’s town centre would be at risk.
He said: “I have come in for some flak over the relief road. All these green groups have got an agenda, and so have I.
"My agenda is the same as theirs, we’ve just got a different way of getting there.
“We want to build that and take the traffic out of town.
"If we don’t, it means we can’t do what we want to do in the town centre.”
The deadline for the public to have its say on the relief road was extended until next Friday, May 7.
It had been due to finish this Tuesday.
So far around 2,000 responses, mostly negative, have been officially uploaded on the planning portal, though campaigners against the proposal believe the total could be closer to 3,000 when all submissions are counted.
Protesters have also held demonstrations outside the council’s base at Shirehall and on land where the road would be built.
Among the latest people to formally object was Oswestry Town Council, which described the scheme as a “waste of taxpayers’ money”.
If approved, the road would effectively complete a ring-road around Shrewsbury. The new section will be single carriageway.