A5, A49 and A483 all feature in vision for huge roads revamp
A vision for the future of the region’s roads could see part of the A5 dualled and the building of Shrewsbury's north west relief road.
The new transport strategy was launched at a key meeting of enterprise bosses, along with members of the Welsh government and councils from both sides of the border.
The Marches and Mid Wales Freight Strategy meeting heard that improving freight transport links by overhauling the region’s main roads could pump an extra £149 million into the economy.
The strategy sets out a vision for road improvements, including dealing with pinch points and bottlenecks to help traffic flow better, and includes major changes to trunk roads including the A5, A49, A483 and A458.
It is hoped that by 2030 major road schemes approved will include:
Dualling or part-dualling the A5 from north of Shrewsbury to Ruabon
The A49/A5 Dobbies Island junction improvement
The A483 Pant/Llanymynech bypass
The A458 Buttington Cross to Wollaston Cross improvements
Shrewsbury’s north west relief road
Short-term work would include creating more sections of the carriageway with 'crawler lanes' to allow traffic to pass HGVs and agricultural traffic.
These 'two on one' roads - such as on the northbound A5 approach to the Halton Roundabout - allow overtaking in one direction for between 600 metres and two kilometres.
The launch in Welshpool also heard that improvements to certain key locations could allow the larger 44-tonne lorries to travel across the region.
The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Growing Mid Wales Partnership launched the strategy with the Welsh Government, Midlands Connect and local councils.
The strategy was unveiled after a major consultation process involving input from a wide range of businesses and local councils.
Online surveys, business workshops in Ludlow and Newtown and telephone interviews with key shippers, road hauliers, infrastructure managers and policy-makers.
Chris Rowland, of MDS Transmodal that ran the consultation, said: “With both the Marches and Mid Wales experiencing highly dispersed pattern of freight activity on a predominately single-carriageway road network their shared economic and geographic contexts made a cross-border strategy a sensible approach.
“This is a robust and positive vision for the future.”
The strategy sets out a vision for road improvements including dealing with pinch points and bottlenecks to help traffic flow better.
Paul Hinkins, vice-chairman of the Marches LEP, said: “We hope to influence the UK and Welsh Governments and look forward to more efficient movement of freight, reduced costs for businesses and reduced negative impacts to people and the environment.
"This is a long-term strategy but we are confident we can get the short-term wins that will improve our roads.”
Growing Mid Wales Partnership chairman, Ellen ap Gwynn, said: “To make this a reality we all have to continue to put pressure on our governments to work together and understand we are growing regions.”
The Shropshire Star last autumn launched a campaign for improvements to the A5 through the county which is the only stretch of the road that runs from the Channel Ports to Holyhead that is single carriageway.
The petition can be signed here.