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Plans to extend M54 to Shrewsbury backed

By Andrew Morris | Shrewsbury | Transport | Published:

Plans to extend the M54 to Shrewsbury will be presented to the government after councillors backed the scheme.

Shropshire Council agreed at full council today (THU) to lobby the Government to extend the motorway past junction seven at Wellington to Preston Boats island in Shrewsbury.

Supporters of Councillor Peter Adams’ motion said it would help attract businesses to the county.

But opponents said there were other roads in the county that needed attention.

Councillor Adams said: “Shropshire is experiencing a prolonged period of sustained growth, and this needs to be enhanced and reinforced with the continued levels of housebuilding in the county.

“There is a need for increased levels of investment in the county’s infrastructure.

“With this in mind I would like council to accept the above proposal.

“Foreign investors use decisions as to where they put their money and often rely on knowledge of the motorway systems of the countries being examined, and in this respect, Shropshire is weak.

“With the North West Relief Road being given the go ahead, this will open up North Shropshire and parts of Mid Wales for development.

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Boost

He added: “This would also be good news for Oswestry and Mid Wales. It will open them both up further to businesses and would be a real boost.”

And Councillor Dean Carroll backed the plans saying: “I know from personal experience in a previous jobs that being on a motorway network is absolutely vital to attracting new businesses.

“The first thing they ask is ‘what motorway network are you on?’ and therefore this makes absolute sense.”

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But members of the Lib Dem group questioned the suitability of the plan.

Councillor Heather Kidd said: “We would be better off concentrating on other roads in the south of the county.

“The A49 is one of the most dangerous in the country according to reports and there are regular fatalities.

“Money would be better off spent on improving that than strengthening the M54 link.”

And Councillor Andy Boddington added: “We should be concentrating on sustainable transport for the future rather than investing into roads again.”

Andrew Morris

By Andrew Morris
Local Democracy Reporter - @AndyMorrisLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Shropshire.

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