Shrewsbury north west relief road plan getting closer
A public consultation will be launched this autumn as the proposed Shrewsbury north west relief road moves a step closer.
Shropshire Council has said it is progressing well with its business case – which will be presented to the Department of Transport in a bid for funding for the multi-million pound scheme.
This is due to be completed in time for the December 22 deadline.
The next step is for a public and stakeholder consultation to be carried out in October.
This will update a previous consultation exercise which was held in 2007 and responses will be collated and submitted as part of the business case.
Shropshire Council submitted a bid for funding under the Department for Transport’s Local Majors Fund (LMF). This application was submitted via, and supported by, the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.
The council successfully secured £942,875 of external project development funding under the LMF and matched it with £49,625 of council funds.
So far work to date on the business case has included initial engagement with DfT, Marches LEP and Shropshire Council’s consultants WSP (formerly Mouchel) to agree the scope and agreed outputs for the work and a comprehensive traffic count which was carried out earlier this year.
The final outline business case will be published on Shropshire Council’s website, once it has received Cabinet and Full Council approval.
Matt Johnson, strategic transport and contracts manager with Shropshire Council, said: “We’re on target to deliver the refreshed outline business case to the Department for Transport (DfT) by 22 December this year.
“The refreshed business case will allow Shropshire Council to put the concept of a north west relief road into a present day setting, where such initiatives as the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package and the Oxon Link Road are now programed for delivery over the next five years.”
“There are currently no guaranteed national funding opportunities that would see an emergent positive business case leading to an application for future construction costs.
“However, over the next year - as the business case is examined – Shropshire Council will continue to liaise closely with the DfT, as well as the Marches LEP, and the Midlands Connect initiative in order to ensure that the outcome of the business case refresh is ensured as high a profile as possible when future national construction funding is being awarded.”
News of the progress has been welcomed by Shrewsbury’s MP Daniel Kawczynski. He said: “I consider the lack of the ring road to the north of the town to be the single biggest potential barrier to Shrewsbury’s economic development. We are seeing real significant traffic build up not only in the town but in villages like Bomere Heath where motorists are using the lanes as rat runs. This is a hugely important issue. I have been in discussions with Peter Nutting, leader of Shropshire Council, to ensure that this is given top priority.”
“When it gets to Government it will be my responsibility to ensure that this project secures the funding despite competition from other strong areas.”