Delayed motorists urged to support road revamp campaign

Delayed motorists urged to support road revamp campaign

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One of the campaign's signs on the single carriageway, or 'missing loop' of the A417(4763023)

First published in News

BORED motorists caught in traffic jams on the A417 missing link have been given some reading matter in the form of signs urging them to sign up to support the bid for funding for a new dual carriageway section.

Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) is urging residents and businesses to pledge their support for the A417 Loop – a £255 million scheme to turn the only single-carriageway section of road between Swindon and Gloucester into dual carriageway.

The planned scheme will lead to less congestion and fewer accidents.

To ensure the message reaches those people who are most affected, signs have been placed on land next to the road from Cirencester to Birdlip, at the point at which the rush-hour queues often start.

They are near the beginning of the 5km stretch of single carriageway known locally as the Missing Link, a Highways Agency-maintained route used by more than 34,000 vehicles a day.

It has the worst average vehicle delays of all strategic routes in the south west and has seen more than 340 casualties in the past 15 years.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said more than 3,750 people had already signed up to the campaign since it started in January.

“But, if the government is going to listen, we need as many people as possible to show their support,” he said.

“The road isn’t currently designed to carry the amount of traffic it does every day. This isn’t just a question of delays, it’s a safety issue too.”

The Highways Agency will set out its future road scheme priorities at the end of this month. If the A417 Loop is included there is a much higher chance of securing the funding needed when the government is allocating cash in spring 2015.

Businesses and commuters are encouraged to show their support for the A417 Loop by pledging their backing at www.a417missinglink.co.uk or emailing info@a417missinglink.co.uk

You can also follow @A417Loop on Twitter.

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