Dual the A5 campaign: Telford council leader backs road move

One of Shropshire's major political leaders has backed a campaign to turn the A5 north of Shrewsbury into a dual carriageway, saying the move would also be a big boost for Telford.

The A5 near Oswestry
The A5 near Oswestry

Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, said the move would help with the continuing business boom in the borough, and would be good news for residents on their travels.

He said: "Connectivity is the number one issue for businesses coming to Telford & Wrekin. They want to ensure that they can get to and from places easily.

"Dualling the A5 would make a big difference. It would help businesses coming in from Wales and Shropshire but also people taking goods and services out of Telford.

Councillor Davies added: "It would also make a big difference for people from Telford & Wrekin going on holiday to Wales.

"It can only be good news for everyone.

"I would praise the Shropshire Star for this positive campaign."

Currently the 18-mile stretch of the A5 from Montford Bridge to Chirk carries tens of thousands of vehicles per day, and has witnessed a number of crashes.

With the exception of the Nesscliffe bypass, it is the only section of single carriageway road between Dover and Holyhead, a key strategic route linking the UK to Ireland.

The Shropshire Star has launched a campaign on the issue because of the belief that the road is inadequate to carry the volume of vehicles that travel along the route every day.

You can find a form in the paper or you can sign the petition online

The campaign has already been backed by North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson, who has a long history of campaigning for the road to be dualled.

He has been advocating the move since he became the MP for the area in 1997.

Mr Paterson said it is vital that the A5 be included in future investment plans from the government, describing it as “an absolute priority”.

The A5

He said: “I am delighted that the Shropshire Star is supporting this campaign and it could not come at a more suitable time. Last November, it was announced that regions across the country are set to benefit from investment for transport.”

Mr Paterson estimates the cost to the public purse as a result of the accidents on the road since 1992 as being in the region of £220m.

Shropshire Council’s deputy leader, Steve Charmley, has also backed the move and said the route would be vital for the region's economy.

Councillor Charmley said: “We need this road dualled to help our economy.”

He added that it was “no longer fit for purpose”.

The A5

The Star is calling on roads minister John Hayes to include the A5 in his Road Investment Strategy and upgrade it to a dual carriageway from Montford Bridge to Chirk.

The Shropshire Star is asking readers to sign the petition so that it can be presented to the Government as part of the ‘Dual It!’ campaign.

People can sign the petition at www.shropshirestar.com

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