Shropshire Star

Major roads vital to Shropshire's future, says council leader

Major roads are needed to ensure Shropshire has access to better employment opportunities and more businesses are attracted to the county.


Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting said schemes such as Shrewsbury's North West Relief Road and other main routes will remain vital in such a rural county.

Councillor Nutting was speaking after complaints that the council should focus on promoting and developing green modes of transport.

He said the council put a focus on promoting sustainable transport – but conceded that a modern road network was needed in a rural county like Shropshire.

The council has had £54.4 million funding from the Government confirmed for the North West Relief Road earlier this year – with the road potentially open by late 2023.

It is also seeking financial backing for dualling the A5 between Oswestry and Montford Bridge and introducing safety measure on the A483 at the Llynclys crossroads.

Proposals are also due to be raised with the Government in a bid to extend the M54 to Shrewsbury after full council signed off the plans in September.

Councillor Nutting said: “We are in a position here where we are such a rural county that while we are placing a large focus on sustainable transport we also have to say, if you want the jobs, you’ve got to have the roads.


“We are looking across the board at all things and we will have to going forward.

“It is very easy to get a bus from one side of town to the other and that is great.

“But what if you want to get a bus from Oswestry to Bridgnorth? Well, that’s two buses you have to get and a long journey.

“We are a rural county from north to south and we have got to have the road system in place to support the future and attract employers to the county.”

A report to Shropshire Council’s cabinet on Monday discussed the work of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, outlining plans for the future.

It said: “There are clear priorities for future investment, including bypasses, dual carriageways, alternative road routes, and frequency of rail services.

“The Marches LEP and its partners will therefore work cross-border with the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Black Country to deliver infrastructure that will support strategic growth.

“This will also include delivery of improvements in physical and digital infrastructure necessary to support clean growth and improved productivity, and tackle digital connectivity for rural communities and businesses.”