Walker welcomes proposed plans for Phase 4 of Southern Link Road improvements

Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker, has called on local residents, businesses and councillors to take part in consultations and learn more about the latest stage of the Southern Link Road improvements.

The proposed plans – which include the dualling of the Carrington Bridge – have just been released, and a number of public information meetings are taking place where local people can learn more about the improvements.

Phase 3 will completed this summer and includes improvements to Norton roundabout and preparation for dualling between Whittington and Norton, as well as a new dedicated left-hand turn from Whittington Road (from M5 Junction 7) to the Westbound Crookbarrow Way (A4440) instead of the current give-way arrangement. The upgrade of the Ketch roundabout and dual tracking of the carriageway towards Norton roundabout has already increased capacity along the route.

Robin has strongly supported a bid, which is currently under consideration by the Department for Transport, for a further £70million of funding. This will enable the final section of road from Powick roundabout across Carrington Bridge to the Ketch to be dualled, completing the entire stretch of carriageway to and from Junction 7 of the M5. In addition to the obvious traffic flow benefits, the proposed plans also feature improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, including a dedicated cycle and foot bridge at the Powick roundabout.

The plans have the support of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, all three district councils in the area as well as their MPs and the County Council – all of whom are backing the bid. In Robin’s view it is imperative that the A4440 be considered as a major strategic link and upgraded as soon as possible in order to enable and support planned housing and employment growth to the West of Worcester. Robin has previously highlighted support from our neighbours in Herefordshire and from the business community of the two counties for the project, as well as bringing the then Transport Secretary to see it for himself during the 2015 election campaign and more recently, the Communities Secretary and Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid. On his first week back in Parliament he has also pressed the case with the new Roads Minister Jesse Norman MP.

Public exhibitions to view the plans are being held this Thursday and Friday (22nd and 23rd June) at the Hive from 10am – 8pm, and on Monday 26th June at St Johns Library from 12pm – 8pm. Worcestershire County Council are inviting members of the public to come along to the exhibitions, ask questions and share their views with members of the project team.

Robin said:

“I am glad to see detailed plans for the final phase of this vital development being announced, it is another big step forward for Worcester and the wider county. The dual carriageway will provide road users with faster transport, reducing journey times and tackle congestion around the county. In addition, the increased provision for cyclists and pedestrians will mean safer and faster travel for those not driving and a better link from the West of Worcester to the new Parkway Station.”

“The benefits of this scheme are not restricted to drivers, everyone in Worcester would benefit from more traffic going out and round the city rather than though it and with the right engineering this scheme can improve flood resilience and help to protect the local environment. I am glad that the County Council’s plans include detailed environmental and flood risk analysis.”

 

“I have been standing alongside local individuals and businesses for some time now in making the case for funding, and having written recently to Ministers at the Department for Transport I am confident that the proposals will be looked on favourably. We really need to make sure that the strong public and business support for these vital improvements is reflected in the consultation.”

“I would strongly encourage local people to go along to one of the public exhibition meetings, see the plans for themselves and have their say.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

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

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

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