The next step in a multi-million pound scheme to upgrade the notorious A417 'Missing Link' has been announced today.
The improvement planned for the A417 near Gloucester will upgrade the last stretch of single carriageway of the road linking the M5 with the M4 - commonly known as the ‘Missing Link’ - to dual carriageway.
It will bring more predictable journey times and improved safety for drivers, while communities will experience reduced air pollution from queuing traffic.
Leader of Cotswold District Council Cllr Tony Berry welcomed the announcement,
“This is wonderful news for the Cotswolds – and, indeed, the entire south-west region. The Council has expressed its full support for the preferred upgrade scheme because we believe it will improve road safety, reduce pollution levels, and will also bring great benefits to the local economy. We now look forward to seeing the project moving forward as quickly as possible so that everyone using this stretch of the A147 can enjoy a safer, speedier and more comfortable journey.”
Following years of campaigning from Gloucestershire's five Conservative MPs, they also welcomed the news:
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP for the Cotswolds:
“When I opened the Shurdington bypass 15 years ago it was confidently predicted that the missing link, as I christened it, would follow shortly to complete the project! This announcement that the Government has cleared the preferred route announcement is great news for all of us that use this road. It should reduce accidents, avoid congestion so improving the environment, and above all encourage more investment into Gloucestershire. However, this is only the beginning of the project and everyone will have to keep up the pressure to ensure that it is actually constructed.”
Alex Chalk MP for Cheltenham:
“It has been a massive effort to get to this point. This project has the potential to deliver transformational opportunities for the next generation here in Gloucestershire - and a huge boost to Cheltenham’s cyber future too.”
Laurence Robertson MP for Tewkesbury:
“I’m pleased that the government is delivering on its commitments regarding this road. Motorists experience congestion every working day along this stretch and many, very sadly, have lost their lives and been injured in this area. We must put a stop to this and I’m determined that we will.”
Richard Graham MP for Gloucester:
“The proposed changes to the A417 will make a huge difference to my constituents, and to all coming to Gloucester from the south - making our county a better place to live, work and visit. It’s the biggest and most important investment in Gloucester infrastructure by this government - getting rid of a problem left by the last Labour government”
Mark Harper MP for Forest of Dean
“This investment will cut journey times for my constituents and make a real difference to local businesses. Delivering these benefits whilst improving road safety and cutting the death toll on this road is a real win for our County.”