COTSWOLD MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has said the £460 million A417 missing link bypass scheme between Gloucester and Swindon is still planning to go ahead. 

There have long been calls to improve the often congested three-mile route between the Brockworth bypass and Cowley roundabout. 

Poor visibility means there have been regular accidents, with a knock-on effect on the local roads drivers often divert onto.

It was announced in April that National Highways awarded a £460 million contract to Kier to design and deliver the A417 upgrade.

The former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s ‘mini budget’ last month listed the A417 scheme as number two on a list of significant UK infrastructure projects - indicating that the government funding of £450 million is still planned. 

At the Conservative Party Conference two weeks ago Sir Geoffrey, met with Nick Aldworth, South West Delivery Director for National Highways.

Sir Geoffrey has said that Mr Aldworth confirmed that the legal and planning process for the scheme has been completed by the planning inspectorate. 

According to the Cotswold MP the process is currently awaiting confirmation from the new Secretary of State Anne-Marie, which will be hopefully by November. 

Commenting, Sir Geoffrey said: “Taken together these two developments are the most positive we’ve had toward commencement of the scheme in 15 years. 

“I am reasonably positive that it will actually happen at long last.”

Highways England are planning for their contractor, Kier, to start work in 2023.

The initial phases will be ground clearance and setting up work cabins at either end of the project.

Cotswolds MP, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown is currently in discussions with Highways England to minimise the number of lane closures during construction.