Shrewsbury North West Relief Road gets council go-ahead
The next step in completing the ‘missing link’ in Shrewsbury’s road network has been given the go-ahead, after the planning application for the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road was approved by Shropshire Council’s Northern Planning Committee today (Tuesday 31 October 2023).
A full business case for the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road (NWRR), outlining the scheme and the up-to-date costings, will now be prepared for consideration by Council next year, before submission to the Department for Transport (DfT) shortly after.
If approved, work to build the road could start as early as summer 2025.
The benefits the NWRR will bring include:-
- Free up road space and take traffic out of Shrewsbury town centre, making this a much more attractive place for residents, businesses and visitors. It will also allow more measures to encourage people out of their cars and to walk or cycle more.
- Improve safety: many Shropshire villages are currently blighted by traffic rat runs trying to bypass the long loop around Shrewsbury created by the incomplete ring road, with HGVs trying to avoid the A5 thundering through villages such as Ruyton-XI-Towns, Baschurch, Forton Heath and Montford Bridge.
- By reducing traffic in Shrewsbury town centre it will also help improve air quality. Other environmental benefits will be reduced journey times, fewer jams on the A5 around Shrewsbury, alongside the creation of a new network of cycle routes and footpaths.
- It will provide a huge boost for Shropshire’s economy, making Shropshire businesses more accessible. It is key piece of national and regional transport infrastructure, completes a ring around Shrewsbury that’s been unfinished for 30 years, while also supporting a key international road link with Ireland.
- It is estimated that 85% of aggregates used in schemes such as this come from Shropshire. Once construction begins, it means that not only will we use local materials, we will also use local people to build it, creating employment and investing in people skills.
Dan Morris, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways, said:-
“The decision follows years of uncertainty, and I’m delighted that we can finally start to progress this important scheme.
“I absolutely accept that the NWRR divides opinions, but I’m confident that it will make a huge difference to people, not only within the town, but also in the surrounding villages – reducing congestion, improving walking and cycling accessibility, and tackling poor air quality.
“It will help unlock further opportunities for growth, and boost business here in Shropshire by improving transport links and using materials available on our doorstep to build it, and creating more high-skilled, well-paid jobs that our county needs.
“The delays in the planning process have meant that the objections to the scheme have been put through a very high level of scrutiny, and answers have been provided to all objections raised.
“The statement made by Mark Harper, Secretary of State for Transport, earlier this month that the Government will fully fund the NWRR’s costs following the decision to cease Phase 2 of HS2 is also very welcome, and shows the confidence in the scheme’s potential for Shropshire, its economy and the wider region.
“We look forward to receiving formal confirmation of this.”
The NWRR will provide a new, single carriageway road linking the northern and western parts of Shrewsbury. It will include a new bridge over the River Severn and its flood plain, and a new bridge over the Shrewsbury-Chester railway line. The NWRR will connect to existing roads with new roundabouts.
For further information about the scheme, people can visit www.shropshire.gov.uk/nwrr.