A COTSWOLD community that is forced to live in the smog of the notorious single carriageway stretch of the A417 has supported a scheme to fix the problematic road once and for all.
Residents of Coberley, which sits on the doorstep of the A417 missing link, have joined thousands of others from across Gloucestershire in urging the government to part with £250million for a new dual carriageway to replace the dangerous road between Cowley and the Air Balloon roundabout.
Villagers backed the campaign after years of having to put up with clouds of exhaust fumes hanging over their homes and speeding motorists using the village as an alternative route.
Following the most recent meeting of Coberley Parish Council, residents voted in favour of writing to Gloucestershire County Council to pledge their support.
Duncan McGaw, chairman of the parish council, told the Standard that members had taken their time in backing the scheme to ensure the A417 Loop was the best option.
“We wanted to make sure in our minds that all stones had been turned before we committed. But this one does seem like the best option all round,” he said.
“The people living closest to the road do have a big problem with pollution. We have been pushing hard for years to get a solution for them and I think this could be the one.”
Used by more than 34,000 vehicles every day, the five kilometre road has become synonymous with bottleneck delays, congestion and fatal accidents.
Since 1998 there have been 11 fatalities on the road, three of which occurred in the space of eight hours last November.
Cllr McGaw said: “It is urgently needed. This is about looking after the people in our community and having a solution that isn’t harmful to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in which we live.”
After launching the campaign at the end of last year, more than 3,700 residents and businesses from across the county have given it their support.
It is hoped that with continued support the A417 loop will be added to the Highways Agency’s list of future road scheme priorities.
If successful, the project has a much higher chance of securing the vital funding when the government allocates cash in 2015.
Local residents, businesses and commuters can show their support for the scheme by signing the online pledge at www.a417missinglink.co.uk.