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Gloucestershire County Council to try and lobby Transport Minister Norman Baker over need for improvements

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 15, 2013

By JACK MAIDMENT POLITICAL REPORTER

Comments (3)

A MAJOR overhaul of M5 junction 10 and a remedy for the A417 'missing link' will be lobbied for by county council leaders if their plea for a meeting with Government transport chiefs is granted, the Echo can reveal.

Transport Minister Norman Baker will visit Gloucestershire next week and Shire Hall Conservatives have asked for a meeting.

It is thought they want to petition Mr Baker on the money the county needs to upgrade its existing, and often straining, infrastructure.

In a letter addressed to the minister, leader of the council Councillor Mark Hawthorne has asked for meeting to discuss several important transport issues.

"I wonder whether your schedule would allow you time to meet with representatives of the county council. The issue of the A417 'missing link' is a particular and continuing cause of concern that we would appreciate the opportunity to highlight, along with other transport issues," he said.

The Echo has supported a campaign to transform junction 10 into a full four-way access point.

It has been estimated by the Highways Agency that such a project would cost in the region of £13.2 million.

Meanwhile, the A417 between Brockworth and Cowley, the so called 'missing link', has long been a headache for motorists.

The single carriageway section of the route currently handles between 28,000 and 33,000 vehicles everyday despite having been designed to deal with just 18,000.

It is widely recognised as one of the most congested roads in the south west of England.

The road acts as an important strategic route between the M4 at Swindon and the M5 at Gloucester.

Mr Baker is visiting the county on Wednesday to look at the work that has been done to double the railway line between Swindon and Kemble.

The county council's bid for a meeting comes after Cheltenham Borough Council vowed to lobby the minister when he arrives. Councillors want him to put a stop to the Highways Agency's controversial plans for the Air Balloon roundabout.

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3 comments

  • Coingrass  |  February 16 2013, 1:20PM

    Making the junction 4-way will cost about £13 million which the Highways Agency says it just doesn't have but Glos CC has £106 million in its reserves so why doesn't it put some of it where its mouth is and offer to contribute to the cost?

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  • supernova1  |  February 15 2013, 2:12PM

    These two projects should be the type of infrastructure projects that we should be pushing forward with. I'm thinking the letter that says "I wonder whether your schedule would allow you time to meet with representatives of the county council..........' is a bit wishy-washy. Assuming that the Council are in charge of the agenda, I would have thought a re-working, detailing the changes and times would have been more appropriate. The higher up in the chain of command, the more 'constituents' come under his/her umbrella.

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  • bdbear  |  February 15 2013, 1:36PM

    Instead of wasting £10 plus on the park and ride at elmbrigde why dont the use the money on junction 10 it is about the same cost and a lot more ose

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