A SURVEY has shown nearly half of Gloucestershire businesses will benefit from a bid to open up the A417 "Missing Link".
Business West, which runs the Gloucestershire Chamber of Commerce, has thrown its weight behind the Echo's campaign to Fill the Missing Link – bringing an end to years of misery on the problem-hit stretch of single carriageway between Cowley and Brockworth.
Through the campaign, we are urging people to support plans for the A417 Loop – a £250 million dual carriageway bypass which would open up the route, a notorious accident blackspot and congestion bottleneck.
Anne Compton, director of Business West in Gloucestershire, said a survey of county firms proved the business community was overwhelmingly in favour of the plan.
"We are fully behind this campaign," she said. "We strongly believe improving the A417 is of huge importance to our local economy.
"In our Quarterly Economic Survey, 48 per cent of respondents in the Gloucestershire area believed improvement to the A417 would benefit their business and 16 per cent of total respondents also agreed.
"Even businesses outside of the Gloucestershire area realised its importance with almost 10 per cent of them stating they believed it would benefit business."
She said congestion issues and the road's poor safety record meant drivers went out of their way to avoid it – a trend which had a negative impact on the economy.
The A417 Loop would include a bypass of Nettleton Bottom, the widening of Birdlip Bypass, a new junction at Birdlip, a new junction replacing the Air Balloon roundabout and an additional two lane carriageway down Crickley Hill.
Between now and the end of March we are urging people to support our campaign to build pressure on the Government.
To find out more about the scheme. visit the website at a417missinglink.co.uk