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North West Relief Road business case put to government

Prepared by Shropshire Council, the business case outlines its position on the need for the road which if it goes ahead will link the planned Oxon Link Road with Battlefield. Initial costings for the road had been estimated to be in the region of GBP104 million but the business case has slashed that to GBP71.5 million of which the council will contribute GBP17 million. It had been anticipated that the council’s contribution would be approximately GBP21 million.

The authority is asking the Government to pay the remainder of the cost from a fund set up for large local transport schemes.

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Shropshire Council – Shrewsbury North West Relief Road Flythrough 2017

Steve Davenport, portfolio holder for highways and transport, said: “We have given this our best shot. It is out of our hands now. We will get an announcement on this in the government’s Spring Statement.

“We have been talking about this for 50 years. There is nothing new in it, the route has not changed dramatically. Shrewsbury needs this road.

It will free up traffic flow and improve air quality. Shrewsbury is an ancient town and it needs to be kept that way. “The work that was carried out on the business case was funded by a GBP1 million grant from the LEP.

The business case has reduced the costings of the road from GBP107 million to GBP71.5 million. The maximum contribution from Shropshire Council will be GBP17 million. “We have to remember that other counties are bidding for this money from the Department for Transport but we feel that we have put a strong case forward.

We are feeling very positive about it and we are in the best position and we hope we will have a positive outcome.”

Advertising The business case was handed to the Department for Transport on Friday. MP for Shrewsbury Daniel Kawczynski said that he felt the council had ‘all its ducks in a row’ and that the best possible case had been put forward.

“This is a top priority for Shrewsbury,” he said. “Not just for now but for future generations. I have made very strong representations to the Prime Minister and to Jesse Norman, Minister for Transport and they have heard how important it is for the town and the economy. “We have done everything possible to make sure that we get the funding.

It will allow Shrewsbury to expand.”

The scheme has been criticised by Shrewsbury Friends of the Earth who say that the new road would not alleviate traffic problems in the centre of the town and that the number of vehicles on Smithfield Road would actually increase in the years following the completion of the road.

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