Oxon Link Road to be included in Shrewsbury North West Relief Road planning application
Shropshire Council has today (Friday 30 August 2019) withdrawn its planning application for the Oxon Link Road in Shrewsbury, and will instead include the proposed road within the planning application for the Shrewsbury north west relief road (NWRR).
The decision has been taken following the award of £54m of funding from the Department for Transport towards the construction of the north west relief road.
The new NWRR application is set to be submitted early next year.
Councillor Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“Following the exciting announcement earlier this year that the Department for Transport will provide funding for the North West Relief Road (NWRR), Shropshire Council has been developing the scheme in readiness for a planning application in early 2020.
“As part of this work, the council has reappraised the relationship between the NWRR and the Oxon Link Road which currently under consideration by the Local Planning Authority (18/03166/EIA). Whilst the Oxon Link Road application has acknowledged the NWRR as a potential future scheme, DfT’s funding allocation offers an opportunity for the two complementary schemes to become more closely aligned.
“By aligning the two schemes, the council is able to maximise the benefits of both schemes and create a consistent user experience from Churncote roundabout to Battlefield.”
Shropshire Council recognises that, as standalone schemes, the Oxon Link Road and the NWRR serve different purposes based on their separate funding streams. The NWRR provides a strategic link that eases congestion on the corridor between the Midlands and Wales, facilitating economic growth in Shrewsbury and Shropshire more widely. On the other hand, the Oxon Link Road was conceived principally as a distributor road to facilitate development as part of the Shrewsbury West Urban Extension (SUE).
By combining the schemes, the Oxon Link Road can more easily contribute to the strategic objective of the NWRR, whilst also better delivering on the link road’s specific goal of facilitating the SUE.
The latter NWRR funding award presents an opportunity to review the scheme objectives and adjust the scheme proposals accordingly with significant benefit and deliver:
- Better values for money. The changed nature of the Oxon Link Road will improve the transport user benefits – increasing the benefit for private, commuter and business users.
- Improved pedestrian and cycle safety. The strategic nature of the combined scheme justifies the inclusion of pedestrian and cycle overbridges at the Oxon Link Road section.
- Improved investment perception. Creation of a single flag-ship project promotes Shrewsbury and Shropshire as a place for investment.
- Reduced real-terms costs. Through economies-of-scale and efficient working practices the combined scheme costs would be less than the delivery of two separate projects.
Considering these benefits, the council has decided to pursue the Oxon Link Road and NWRR as a single project with a combined planning strategy. A new combined planning application will be submitted in Spring 2020.
For more information about the NWRR, go to www.shropshire.gov.uk/nwrr.