Walker welcomes progress on Southern Link Road dualling work

Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed the latest progress report on the work to dual the A4440 Southern Link Road from the M5 to the Powick Roundabout.

At the end of May, a 1,500-tonne railway bridge extension over the Southern Link Road between the Whittington and Norton roundabouts was successfully manoeuvred into place by a team of 180 engineers who worked around the clock in 3 x 8-hour shifts. Following the removal of the track and after hours of excavation and soil removal, the bridge extension was located into place. The specialist machinery carefully moved the bridge in situ to within millimetres of the current bridge. Once the bridge was sited, the job of making it stable began.

Now the final touches are being made to the railway bridge extension and this week work has also started to construct the road under the bridge so dualling of the road between Whittington and Norton roundabouts can be completed. This is scheduled to be done by Spring 2019.

Whilst this work is taking place, preparation works for the final phase of dualling, between the Ketch and Powick roundabouts is continuing.

As part of this next phase to dual the road between the Ketch and Powick roundabouts, a new bridge needs to be constructed along with a viaduct and new road immediately to the south of the existing road. For the County Council to move forward with this, Western Power Distribution (WPD) needs to relocate one of their pylons which is next to the existing road. As part of the pylon relocation process, the Southern Link Road between the Powick and Ketch roundabouts needs to be fully closed to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians overnight from 9.00pm to 5.00am the following morning on the evenings of Tuesday 24th, Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th July.

The dualling is being completed as a result of the Government funding allocation of £54.5million announced last year – a commitment Robin had campaigned for over many years and the biggest transport infrastructure investment in the County Council’s history. Completion of the project will provide much-needed congestion relief for local Worcester residents and commuters, as well as boosting jobs and economic growth in the area by transforming access to the M5 and accelerating the building of more than 5,000 homes.

Commenting on the progress, Robin said:

“The dualling of the Southern Link has been one of my top priorities for the city since I was first elected, and I was thrilled last year to welcome the historic investment in Worcester’s roads of £54.5million last year.”

“It’s great to see the progress that’s now being made on the project – the railway bridge extension was a major part of the works, and I was glad to see that being finished ahead of schedule, minimising the disruption caused to local residents. As a regular user of the route myself, I welcome the efficient and timely conclusion of this stage of the project.”

“Traffic congestion is a key concern for a great many of my constituents and acts as a brake on Worcester reaching its true potential as one of the UK’s top cities in which to live, work and study – this improvement will go an awfully long way to changing that, as well as providing a vital economic boost to the city and the wider county. Alongside the progress we saw reported last week on the Worcestershire Parkway project, I look forward to seeing more on how these two key transport improvements continue to develop in the coming months.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

To read the Department for Transport details of the funding, see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-invests-350-million-improving-local-roads

To read Robin’s Westminster Hall debate where he pressed the Government to recognise the strategic importance of the road:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm150616/halltext/150616h0002.htm#15061662000281

To read Robin’s question to then-Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin in 2014 see: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2014-12-01/debates/1412014000001/RoadInvestmentStrategy?highlight=southern%20link#contribution-1412014000129

To read Robin’s lobbying of Transport Ministers in a debate on Worcestershire Roads in 2015 see: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2015-07-16/debates/15071638000017/RoadsWorcestershire?highlight=southern%20link#contribution-15071638000078

For a full list of Robin’s contributions in Parliament on the Southern Link, see: https://hansard.parliament.uk/search/MemberContributions?memberId=4091&type=Spoken&searchTerm=southern%20link&outputType=List

For Robin’s previous statements on the Southern Link, please see: http://www.walker4worcester.com/category/campaigns/southern-link/

The Southern Link Road Phase 4 plan can be seen at: http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20254/major_infrastructure_and_improvement_schemes/1017/the_a4440_worcester_southern_link_road_improvements/4