THE Transport Secretary has revealed that a project to make improvements to the A417 Missing Link could receive funding from the government.

Gloucestershire County Council launched the A417 Loop campaign in January – a £255 million scheme to improve the road, that would include replacing the single-lane route from Cowley to Brockworth with a dual carriageway.

Patrick McLoughlin announced today that the scheme could be given cash, whilst visiting the Air Balloon roundabout , which saw him he discussed proposals with Tewkesbury MP Lawrence Robertson, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and county council officials.

Mr McLoughlin explained that George Osborne has highlighted six road schemes across the country including the Missing Link that could benefit from funding.

He said: “We are looking at it, the very fact that it is included in one of our schemes says it is an important priority.

“The chancellor has commissioned extra money for road schemes and we are in a serious position to consider this scheme later this year.”

“We are at the moment working with the Highways Agency and the county council and have done a huge amount of work and I wanted to come and see it first hand.”

 “The county council and the Highways Agency have been working to find the right solution for the missing link. I am interested in what they are doing. It is not an easy area to engineer and it is a big project as well.”

More than 4,600 people and businesses have pledged their support to the Loop.

The road is used by more than 34,000 vehicles a day and has one of the worst average vehicle delays of all routes in the region.

In the past 15 years there have been more than 340 casualties on the stretch of road.