A THREE car pile-up on the notorious single carriageway section of the A417 on Easter Sunday has lead to new calls being made for an urgent upgrade of the road.

Three people were taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, one with potentially life threatening injuries, following the smash between the Air Balloon roundabout and Nettleton Bottom at 5.20pm on Sunday, April 20.

The crash, involving a grey BMW, a white Nissan Qashqai and a blue Vauxhall Astra, caused chaos for Easter commuters when the emergency services closed the road in both directions for nearly two hours.

Since November, four people have been killed in accidents on the A417 and the total number of fatalities on the road since 2000 is now more than 30.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, county councillor for Bourton and Northleach, said the Easter crash is a reminder that a solution to the problematic road needs to be found.

“We have had a really bad run of accidents in the last six months. The road is a nightmare and needs to be fixed urgently,” he said.

A county-wide campaign urging the government to spend £250million on a new dual carriageway between the roundabouts at Cowley and the Air Balloon pub was launched last year.

So far the A417 Loop project has received the backing of 4,500 residents, commuters and businesses from across Gloucestershire.

“These latest sad events show precisely why the government must see sense and commit the money to making the road safer while addressing the issues of pollution and gridlock,” Cllr Hodgkinson said.

It is hoped that with a continued and united response from people across the county, the A417 Loop scheme will be added to the Highways Agency’s list of future road scheme priorities in the near future.

If successful, the project has a much higher chance of securing the vital funding needed when the government allocates cash in 2015.

A spokesman for Gloucestershire County Council said: “We are in close contact with the Highways Agency and we will be told when they are to announce their list in due course.

“We are continuing to urge people to keep pledging their support to the proposal.”

Anyone who would like to support the campaign can do so online at www.a417missinglink.co.uk.