After 50 years of campaigning, the Department of Transport is providing £54 million for the relief road, between Battlefield Link Road and Oxon Link Road, which will provide a new, single-carriageway route taking traffic out of the town centre.
The work, which is likely to start in 2022, will reduce congestion around Shrewsbury and improve air quality in the town.
The scheme will also provide two new bridges, accessible crossings allowing cyclists, pedestrians and vulnerable users to travel safely.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "The North West Relief Road is just what Shrewsbury needs to reduce congestion in and around the town.
“We are investing £54 million in this exciting new scheme, helping drivers get from A to B more quickly, while improving air quality for residents.”
A shared footpath and cycleway will be built on the southern part of the road, bordered on both sides by open space.
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport said the announcement is the culmination of years of hard work by a number of people.
He added: “Today’s announcement is brilliant news and means that our thorough and detailed business case for a Shrewsbury north west relief road has been recognised and supported by the government. I’m also delighted that the lobbying of government by a large number of people over a long period has been successful. Today’s announcement really is the culmination of many years’ hard work by a great number of people and it’s been a real team effort between council officers, councillors, MPs, our engineering consultants and many more.
“The NWRR will benefit not just Shrewsbury but the whole of Shropshire and, though there is some way to go before the road is built and in use, securing this funding from the government is a huge step towards making this much-needed road a reality.
“As we outlined in our business case, it will provide a new, high standard, direct route between the north and west of Shrewsbury, offering big time savings for road users. Traffic will therefore transfer from the existing routes, reducing congestion and making them more efficient. These benefits will be felt over a wide area, including the outer bypasses and rural lanes, as well as the roads leading into and through the town centre.
“The NWRR will also help to reduce accidents and carbon emissions, and will improve air quality in areas where people shop, work and live. It will give Shrewsbury a more efficient and resilient road network and support the town’s continued growth and economic development.”
Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski took to Twitter this morning to announce the news, saying: "I would like to thank @Dunne4Ludlow & @OwenPaterson for the incredible support both have given to me & @ShropCouncil in securing £54 million for Shrewsbury’s NW Relief Road! Teamwork."
Very grateful to @shdcouncil the Transport Portfolio Holder @ShropCouncil who has worked so hard to help secure our NW Relief Road. I would like to thank him publicly for his professionalism and dedication as part of our team which secured £54 million @ShropshireStar— Daniel Kawczynski (@DKShrewsbury) March 21, 2019
Other MPs responded:
Mr Kawczynski saids: “The construction of the North West Relief Road in Shrewsbury has been a long standing campaign for me ever since became a Member of Parliament. I therefore made securing the funding for the North West Relief Road one of my key election pledges and have spent considerable time at Westminster campaigning on this issue, speaking in informal parliamentary debates, submitting Parliamentary questions and having meetings with Ministers and officials. I am delighted that funding has been granted by the Government.
“Not only will the road unlock large amounts of economic growth for the county bringing with it jobs, it will also improve congestion both in small villages and the Town Centre. Many people in rural villages are understandably unhappy that their village roads are being used as a rat run because of a lack of a North West Relief Road.
“The new road, once built, will significantly reduce journey times by around two thirds. It will also lead to a reduction in air pollution as cars don’t need to sit in traffic and will be less inclined to use the town centre route. Carbon dioxide emissions will also see a reduction.
“We are all very proud of Shrewsbury and how the town is developing but clearly this has to be in a sustainable way. This new road will not only help Shrewsbury to cope with its growth, but provide a sustainable footing for the future.”
Further reaction to today's announcement
Graham Wynn, chairman of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This scheme is a crucial part of strategic plans for the region’s economic development being drawn up by the LEP and its partners.
“Improved infrastructure and communications are vital if we are to realise our ambitions to grow the region’s economy to £23.8billion by 2038 and create 58,700 new jobs. This scheme, for which we secured the funding to develop the master plan, will help us create a transport network which is fit for purpose for years to come and which drives that growth.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “I’m delighted that the Government are investing heavily in Shropshire’s transport links. Combined with the improvements to the train services we will see in May, these investments will continue to drive the economic performance of Shrewsbury, Shropshire and the wider West Midlands.
“Today’s confirmation of the North West Relief Road is great news for the Shropshire economy. It will enable essential development to occur and reduce transport barriers, it will open up new locations for housing development for families and at the same time enable essential commercial space to be developed. The impact is beyond a road as this will encourage inward investment into the County.
"The aim now must be to encourage and secure new employers into the County bringing higher skilled jobs and opportunities so the full potential is realised.”
Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect, said: “Shropshire has earned this timely announcement. In total it’s been almost half a century to get the North West Relief Road from local idea to central government investment. Today’s commitment will help future-proof the local road network for the next half century.
“Midlands Connect congratulates the leadership of Shropshire Council, the Marches LEP and local representatives in parliament for their tireless work in bringing these plans to fruition. I look forward to continuing working with them over the coming months and years to make our region’s roads and railways fit for the 21st century and beyond.
WATCH: Fly over the planned road
“Today’s announcement is a vote of confidence in the economic potential of Shrewsbury, Shropshire and our region. I’m sure it is the first of many major investments we’ll welcome and celebrate as the Midlands speaks with one voice to earn the backing our potential deserves.”
Paul Bennett, chair of Shropshire Business Board, said: “The Shropshire Business Board are focused on inward investment, protecting jobs, creating career opportunities locally and using technology to help the business community thrive.
"This is a significant boost to those aims. Shropshire Council are to be congratulated on successfully securing the funding for this announcement from central government at a challenging time. We must now focus on realising that huge potential and I know Shropshire Council will want to work with the Shropshire Business Board to ensure this happens.
“We very much welcome news of this multi-million pound investment into Shrewsbury’s infrastructure, which will have long-lasting benefits to the local economy.”
Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said: “There are ambitious plans for improving Shrewsbury, as outlined in the Big Town Plan, and one of the priorities is to make movement in and around the town centre better for everyone.
“This includes better pedestrian and cycle routes, and reducing through traffic in the town centre.
“The North West Relief Road will be a big step towards that vision, as it will allow greater traffic flow around Shrewsbury and lessen the need for people to drive through the centre.
“That would then unlock the exciting opportunity of making the riverside and West End of Shrewsbury much more enticing to visitors.
“There will also be a wider benefit of encouraging more inward investment into Shrewsbury as a whole, creating jobs and growing the economy, which will of course have a positive impact on our town centre members.”
Anna Sutton, Provost at University Centre Shrewsbury, said: “University Centre Shrewsbury welcomes today’s announcement and we offer our congratulations to all those who have worked so hard to bring this about.
"Not only will the North West Relief Road (NWRR) provide much needed relief from traffic and pollution within our historic town, it will also facilitate business and housing growth. We are particularly pleased with the great attention the council has taken to insure that the road is environmentally-sensitive and we look forward to working with our colleagues in Shropshire Council on this critical aspect of the NWRR.”
Richard Sheehan, Chief Executive of Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, said:
“The north west relief road will significantly improve the travelling time between the business parks, especially for young employees in their quest for work in the town, increasing use of public transport which in turn will ultimately reduce the congestion throughout Shrewsbury centre.
“All will help to develop the infrastructure in the town, making it a more attractive offer for inward investment, providing economic growth and bolstering the already thriving business community of the town.”
Joyce Jagger, of Albrighton Estate and Farms said: "On behalf of Albrighton Estate and Farms, I welcome the news of funding for the relief road. The increase in traffic has made it a necessity.”