THE campaign to secure funding for a project that would see a notoriously dangerous stretch of the A417 improved has gained more than 2,000 online signatures in the space of a week.
Gloucestershire County Council is asking residents from all over the county to come together to convince the government to provide £250million to fund the A417 loop, a project that would eradicate the treacherous ‘missing link’ between Nettleton Bottom and Birdlip.
It is hoped that with continued support the A417 loop will be added to the Highways Agency’s list of future road scheme priorities at the end of March, as part of its ongoing Route Based Strategy Work.
If the project is added to the list then there is a much higher chance of securing the vital funding when the government allocates cash in the spring of next year.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of GCC, said: “I’m delighted that more than 2,000 people have backed the campaign already. Please encourage your friends, family and colleagues to register their support as well.
“Now is the time for us to make our case heard. We firmly believe the A417 loop is the way forward and we have to make sure the government knows we are serious.”
If successful, a new dual carriageway is to be built linking Brockworth and Cowley, avoiding the Air Balloon roundabout and the infamous single stretch of road at Nettleton.
The road, which is used by around 34,000 vehicles every day, is well known for its high rate of accidents.
On average, a serious crash happens on the road every two weeks and since 1998 11 people have been killed as a result.
Last week the Standard reported that Mark Owen, the regional chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, was outraged that the A417 “fiasco” had not been fixed sooner.
He said: “I suspect that if Isambard Kingdom Brunel or Thomas Telford were alive today, they could knock out a viable Nettleton Bottom scheme on the back of a fag packet.”
Local businesses, residents and commuters are urged to show their support for the A417 support by signing up and pledging their backing at www.a417missinglink.co.uk.