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Worcestershire link road plans approved

Words: Laura Edgar
Congestion / iStock

The third phase of £33 million plans for a Worcestershire link road have been agreed by county council cabinet members.

The Southern Link Road (A4440) in Worcester is one of the county’s busiest roads. The £33 million scheme will build on the phase two works currently taking place at the Ketch roundabout, which also includes the dualling of the carriageway towards the Norton roundabout.

In a continued bid to ease congestion, phase three of the project, which is the largest project of its kind in the county for more than 20 years, will include the dualling of the entire length of the A4440 between the Whittington junction and the new Ketch roundabout and improvements to the Norton roundabout.

Phase three will also consist of a new dedicated left-hand turn from Whittington Road (from M5 junction 7) to the westbound A4440 Crookbarrow Way, a new bridleway bridge and a new rail bridge.

Funding for the scheme comes from a number of sources, including £12 million from the Local Growth Fund and a provisional £16.3 million from the South Worcestershire urban extension development. Worcestershire County Council will also contribute £700,000.

Simon Geraghty, county council cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said that the decision to grant approval for phase three demonstrated the council’s commitment to ensuring Worcestershire was very much ‘Open for Business’.

“More than 30,000 vehicles use the route, constructed in the 1980s, each weekday and modelling predicts a worsening picture over the next 10 to 15 years if we did nothing.

"We've been clear that we'd be adopting a phased approach to this work with schemes offering real and immediate benefits fitting into the wider plan of dual-tracking the entire length of the A4440 from Powick Island to Whittington Roundabout.

“The approval demonstrates our commitment to realising this ambition and represents the largest single investment in road-building for decades.”

Following the agreement, made on 25 September, work could begin as early as Spring 2015, while exploratory work on phase four will also start.