Councillors back Option 30 solution to fix A417 ‘Missing Link’
Release date: 15 March 2018
Members at Cotswold District Council have given their full support to what they believe is the best option to solve the A417 ‘Missing Link’ problem.
Highways England launched a six-week public consultation last month offering two options to address the frequent traffic congestion arising from a three mile stretch of single carriageway on the A417 between the Brockworth bypass and Cowley roundabout. This local pinch point has been recognised as a problem of national significance, exacerbated by a higher than average incidence of serious and fatal accidents.
Meeting on 15 March, the CDC Cabinet resolved that Option 30 (estimated to cost £485 million) was better than Option 12 (estimated to cost £465m). They will now submit a full response to Highways England commenting in detail on the landscape, environmental, traffic, social and technical issues.
Commenting on the Cabinet decision, CDC Deputy Leader Cllr Nick Parsons said:
“We are very pleased that this nationally significant problem is well on the way to being resolved, and we firmly believe that Option 30 is the better of the two routes presented for consultation. Under this option, the gradient at Crickley Hill would be less severe and the roundabouts at the Air Balloon pub and Cowley would be removed. Option 30 would also help reduce the impact of the new works on the landscape and nearby communities. Additionally, despite the slightly higher initial cost, it would yield a much better return on investment according to the information provided by Highways England.
Cllr Parsons’ views were echoed by the leader of the CDC Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr Joe Harris, who added:
“I’m pleased that we’re finally at a stage where we know what the solution to the A417 ‘Missing Link’ is going to look like. A cross-party effort at Cotswold District Council has bought a solution much closer and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel at last.
“Option 30 is the best scheme on the table as it avoids close contact with Birdlip and Cowley, and we are aware that the majority of public consultees also favour this choice. We very much hope that Highways England can now get the scheme underway as soon as possible.”
The two options proposed by Highways England are:
Option 12 – A four mile surface route reusing sections of the existing A417 on Crickley Hill and Birdlip. New sections of the road would be built at Nettleton and Emma’s Grove. This option would include three new junctions – one at Cowley roundabout, one on the existing A417 close to the B4070 junction at Birdlip and one to the north of Barrow Wake. There would be three lanes of carriageway going up Crickley Hill and two lanes coming down.
Option 30 – A 3.4 mile surface route following the alignment of the existing A417 at Crickley Hill with less of a slope. A new section of road would be built through Shab Hill to the east of the existing A417, re-joining the existing road near the Cowley roundabout. Both the Air Balloon and Cowley roundabouts would be removed. Option 30 would include two new junctions – one at the Shab Hill and one on the existing A417 close to Barrow Wake with a link road in-between. There would be three lanes of carriageway going up Crickley Hill and two lanes coming down.