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Extra lane plan 'will not solve traffic issues at Shrewsbury's Meole Brace Retail Park'

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A proposed extra lane will not ease congestion for motorists trying to access Shrewsbury's busy Meole Brace Retail Park, experts warned today.

Shropshire Council's highways team said the plan to add a left spur lane to the exit roundabout from the retail park was only designed to benefit customers leaving the site onto Hereford Road.

Officers said that despite the plan having no advantage for traffic queuing to access the retail park from Hereford Road, there were no highways reasons to object to the plans.

Mark Wootton, area manager for the developing highways team, said the plan was "unlikely to have any detrimental impact on the adjacent public highway (Hereford Road)" and therefore it would not object to the plan.

But he added: "It is not considered that this improvement offers any material benefit to traffic entering into the retail park off Hereford Road, which is a long-standing concern of the highway authority.

"The highway authority would contend therefore that the improvements/alterations will not, in themselves, provide any positive effect or improvement on the existing queuing traffic on Hereford Road accessing the retail park.

"The highway authority acknowledge that this proposal has been submitted as a stand-alone planning application. The highway authority will therefore be providing further comments in respect of the current application submitted on the retail park for the new unit.

"The highway authority raise no objection to the granting of planning consent subject to conditions."

The issue of access to the retail park has also played a key role in plans to expand the site. An application has been lodged with the local authority which could see a new unit built on vacant land next to TK Maxx. Sports Direct would move into the new shop, with clothes retailer Outfit taking on its present site. The plans could create more than 100 jobs.

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Last week, outgoing councillor Jon Tandy said the proposals should be thrown out, saying if the new unit was built, it would block any future second access road to the retail park which he believed could solve the congestion problem.

Councillor Tandy said: "The proposed extension will worsen current access difficulties at Meole Brace retail park and rule out the one effective solution.

"Everyone who uses the park says another access is needed, and the only place for it would be blocked by this new extension. It is hard to see how another feeder road for the current access can help.

"To an observer, the majority of those leaving the park appear to be heading back towards Shrewsbury, which tells us where Meole Brace is taking its shoppers from."

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