A417 'missing link' campaign gains cross-party backing

A CAMPAIGN for a ‘missing link’ on the A417 has gained cross-party support from political leaders at Gloucestershire County Council.

More than 2,000 members of the public have called for a duel carriageway ‘Loop’ to be installed to bypass the notorious accident blackspot.

In the past 15 years alone, there have been 340 casualties from accidents on the road and in November three motorists were killed in a single day.

The deaths led to the stretch of road near Birdlip being dubbed the ‘road to hell’ and sparked fresh calls for action.

Now, political leaders at GCC are coming together to support the campaign to fix the missing link.

GCC’s Conservative leader Mark Hawthorne, Lib Dem group leader Colin Hay, Labour leader Lesley Williams and Independent Cllr David Prince have all pledged their support for the A417 Loop campaign in an attempt to convince the Government to provide the £255million needed to fix the problem.

Cllr Hawthorne said: “It’s great to see more and more people getting behind the A417 Loop campaign each day.

“With over 2,000 pledges of support already, word is spreading about the chance we have to fix this bottleneck once and for all.”

Cllr Colin Hay said: “This is the county at its best – all political parties working together to sort out a common problem, in this case one of the region’s worst bottlenecks.”

The Highways Agency will set out its future road scheme priorities at the end of March and the council wants to see the missing link solution added to its list.

If the A417 Loop is included there is a much higher chance of GCC securing the funding it needs when the Government dishes out funds in spring 2015.

Labour group leader Lesley Williams, said her party ‘fully supported’ the campaign to fix the missing link.

“The A417 is a busy road and of vital economic importance for all those who live and work in Gloucestershire. Let’s make it safe,” she said.

Cllr David Prince, Independent leader, said, “Hold ups experienced by commuters and business alike on the A417 on what is a daily basis are unacceptable; the improvement scheme is most welcome.

“We must now ensure its implementation is sooner rather than later.”

Local business owners and commuters are being urged to show their support for the A417 Loop by signing up and pledging their backing at www.a417missinglink.co.uk

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