Companies and business travellers plagued by the horrors of the A417 “Missing Link” can now look forward to the long-awaited road scheme starting in about 18 months.
When I first came to Gloucestershire to edit The Citizen nearly 20 years ago it was the first campaign I started, to end the incredible traffic delays stifling business and save lives.
In my view, this is the most dangerous stretch of road in Gloucestershire which has been a huge drain on business and caused so many terrible accidents.
Don’t hold your breath but a huge step forward has now taken place to dual the so-called “Missing Link” Link”, the three miles between the Brockworth by-pass and the Cowley roundabout.
A Development Consent Order(DCO)has now been accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate. If all goes well with that, work could be starting in 18 months’ time-in February/March 2023.
And Highways England’s project director for the scheme, a very helpful Michael Goddard, told me it will take three and a half years with completion by the end of 2026.
Hats off to our Gloucestershire MPs and the county council who have constantly pressed the government to approve the half a billion pounds scheme.
The Treasury have now approved initial costs but the actual construction costs are still to be signed off.
Our transport companies in the county, particularly, will breathe a sigh of relief at this latest move as the A417/A419 provides a vital link between Gloucester and Swindon and helps connect the Midlands/North to the South of England.
The cost benefits of the new scheme to business will be very welcome as will the increased safety it will provide.
Highways England deserve our full support in this huge project for the economy of Gloucestershire.