Driving To Deliver Your Business

Shrewsbury North West Relief Road: 'Pay up or we’ll pull plans'

Shropshire Council has written to the Government over delays on a decision for funding the seven-mile road. It is asking for GBP54 million from the Department for Transport’s Large Local Major Schemes Fund. The council will contribute almost GBP17 million towards the GBP70 million plan, and any costs that run over that amount.

The road would act as a missing link for a Shrewsbury bypass, completing an outer ring road around the town. It would join the Oxon Link Road to Battlefield.

Watch the video flyover of the proposed route:

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Shropshire Council – Shrewsbury North West Relief Road Flythrough 2017

Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski said he has spoken to the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling about the plans and Mr Grayling has asked for more information. In a letter to Mr Grayling, Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting and Councillor Nic Laurens, the portfolio holder for economic growth, say it is “extremely disappointing” that there was no funding allocation announced at the same time or as part of the Spring Statement.

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They say: “The delay in the announcement beyond April 2018 now presents considerable challenges to the successful delivery of the North West Relief Road scheme by Shropshire Council.” Shropshire Council submitted the business case to the Government in December, which outlines the authority’s position on the need for the road, which would link the planned Oxon Link Road with Battlefield. In order to meet the prescribed timetable for getting government funding, the programme has been designed to move through the design, planning and construction at some pace, the letter adds.

The success of the programme had been based on it being ‘in delivery’ from April 1.

Pressure from council members

Advertising It says there are considerable amounts of seasonal work to take place in preparation, which could add a 12-month delay to the programme if they are not delivered as planned. In December last year, the authority’s cabinet agreed to spend GBP190,000 for preparatory work on the road scheme, hoping that it would be confirmed by ministers by April 1.

Councillors Nutting and Laurens said there was now pressure from other council members to find out if government funding was going to make the road a reality, especially in the light of reduced budgets because of cuts. The letter says that the council may be forced to withdraw its business case and funding bid at this stage, as there is “no way” the required programme for delivery could be met. The councillors add: “Given the local and strategic significance of this piece of infrastructure, and the overwhelming support that the proposal has amongst the local business community, local MP, Shropshire Council members, Shrewsbury Town Council, The Marches LEP and the local population, this is clearly not something that Shropshire Council would consider lightly, however it may be an unfortunate necessity.

“There is currently a chance to deliver a transformational piece of infrastructure at a cost that is at an historic all time low and in line with the planned growth ambitions for Shrewsbury.”

The letter ends by urging Mr Grayling to consider an “early and favourable” announcement for the construction funding.



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