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Transport Secretary Chris Grayling urged to sort out Shropshire roads

By Dominic Robertson | Transport | Published:

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has been urged to dual the A5, improve the A49 and support a new motorway link.

Marches LEP Chairman Graham Wynn meets Transport Secretary Chris Grayling

Mr Grayling was pressed on the matter at a House of Commons event hosted by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

It was attended by several of the county’s MPs, and LEP chairman Graham Wynn said that the improvements to roads are essential for the region to reap the benefit.

As well as the subject of the A5 Mr Grayling was also pressed on improvements to the A49 and the M54/M6 link.

Graham Wynn, Maria Machancoses and Sir John Peace

Mr Wynn told Mr Grayling: “Part of our strategy is the way we have been working across borders, with colleagues here in the Marches, with Midlands Connect and Mid Wales to find out where the blockers to growth are for our businesses.

“We’re delighted that the North West Relief Road is being supported, but we also need investment in the A5, dualling it will make a huge difference to not only our businesses but also to our visitor economy.

"The A49 is a really important trunk road and we need the M54 connectivity to the M6 too.

"Investment in these roads will make sure our economy, as well as that of the Midlands and Wales, will reap the benefit.”

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The LEP, a private sector-led organisation which works with local councils in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to create jobs and grow businesses, was briefing MPs and ministers on its transport priorities at the House of Commons.

North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson welcomed guests to the reception, which was attended by the county’s MPs Mark Pritchard, Daniel Kawcynski, Philip Dunne, as well as roads minister Jesse Norman, Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies, and representatives from Highways England and Powys County Council.

North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson welcomes people to Westminster

Mr Grayling praised the LEP for bringing partners from all three local authorities, Mid Wales and the Midlands together for the discussion.

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“It is really good to see you working with colleagues across borders. I’m keen to hear about what your priorities are, and what will make the biggest difference to the Marches,” he added.

The event, which also saw the launch of the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, heard from Nigel Brinn of Powys County Council who highlighted the joint freight strategy already developed by the Marches and Mid Wales and work being done on the A5/A483/A458 cross border study.

Telford & Wrekin Council’s Dominic Proud briefed MPs on the M54/M6 link being strategically important for business across the Marches, Black Country and Wales as well as the planned M54 Junction 5/A442 scheme.

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