FIXING a dangerous stretch of road in Gloucestershire is one step closer to funding as the Highways Agency acknowledges the threat posed.

Support to solve a part of the A417, called the ‘Missing Link’ has grown after the scheme was added to a list of roads in the south west that are challenged because of capacity, safety and environmental issues.

The Highways Agency has recognised concerns about the route following stakeholder events in the region, and highlighted the issue in its route strategy report.

The report follows a campaign by Gloucestershire County Council to support the A417 loop - a £255million scheme to improve the road.

It means replacing the 5km single lane section from Cowley to Brockworth with a dual carriageway is a little closer to finding funding when the Government allocates cash in the spring of 2015.

The road is used by more than 34,000 vehicles a day and has one of the worst average vehicle delays of all routes in the region.

There have been more than 340 casualties on the road in the past 15 years including several fatalities.

Now more than 4,600 residents, motorists and businesses have now pledged their support to the change, among other improvements.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, which has pledged £500,000 itself to the scheme, said: “I’m delighted that the Highways Agency has recognised just how important it is that a solution is found to the problem of the Missing Link.

“We know from the overwhelming support local people and businesses have given to the Loop that this is a major issue, not just in the county but in the entire region.

“However, there is still a long way to go to get Government support for the scheme and I would urge anyone who has ever used the road to make their voice heard by pledging online.”

Local business owners and commuters are encouraged to show their support for the A417 loop by pledging their backing at or emailing