BUSINESSES across Gloucestershire are being urged to support the campaign to secure vital funding for a project that would see a notoriously dangerous stretch of the A417 improved.
The county’s local enterprise partnership, GFirst, is calling on organisations from all over the county to come together to convince the government to provide £250million to fund the A417 loop, a project that would remove the treacherous single carriageway between Nettleton Bottom and Birdlip.
Used by more than 34,000 vehicles every day, the five kilometre road has become synonymous with bottleneck delays, congestion and fatal accidents.
The accident rate on the ‘missing link’ is twice that of the entire dual carriageway, with a serious crash happening, on average, every two weeks.
There have been 11 fatalities on the road in the last 16 years, three of which occurred in the space of eight hours last November.
Dr Diane Savory, chairman of GFirst, said that the A417 is currently a burden to the economic welfare of everybody living in the county.
“It is imperative that we improve transport links within the county for business expansion and to help people have better access to jobs and services, as well as improving overall road safety,” she said.
She continued: “Unless a solution is found, congestion and long delays at the ‘missing link’ can only get worse with increased volumes of traffic that will further impede local economic growth.”
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.
The campaign has recently received cross-party support from the four party leaders on Gloucestershire County Council.
Local businesses, residents and commuters are being asked to show their support for the A417 loop by signing the pledge at www.a417missinglink.co.uk.