Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Member of Parliament for The Cotswolds, Laurence Robertson, Member of Parliament for Tewkesbury and Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, met earlier today as planned with the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport, along with senior Highways Agency staff. The Gloucestershire delegation put the case on safety, environmental and economic grounds for improvements to the notorious 5km "missing link" stretch of the A417, following three tragic fatalities on the road earlier in the month.
The Secretary of State , who knows the road personally having driven it himself, explained the process that needs to take place for the improvement to become a national priority. Over the next 12 months, until Spring 2015, the Highways Agency will be determining its next round of major projects, giving Gloucestershire a key opportunity to push for the A417 to be included. The Secretary of State made clear that Gloucestershire would need to put a strong case and speak with one voice to have the best chance of getting on the list.
Cllr Hawthorne welcomed the meeting "We've have put the issue of the A417 on the agenda at the highest level today. Now the hard work begins to build a coalition, both in Gloucestershire and outside our county, with councils, businesses and individuals all pushing to make sure that this road gets the improvement it so badly needs."
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP added "The tragic fatalities recently have highlighted how dangerous this road is. This missing link has been a restraining factor in Gloucestershire's economic growth for far too long. We need to do all that we can to ensure that a solution is high up on the national priorities in the spring of 2015 and that it is deliverable."
Source: Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP Member of Parliament for The Cotswolds