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Gloucestershire Business News

Extra £2.5 million needed after road improvement costs rise 50 per cent

Council leaders will be asked to cough up an extra £2.475 million to transform a major bottleneck artery into Gloucester city centre - after its earlier estimates proved to be 50 per cent out.

On Wednesday Gloucestershire County Council's cabinet will be called on to agree the extra money from its capital contribution towards the improvements along Llanthony Road which will form part of Gloucester's South West Bypass.

The bypass is an important link from the city centre to the M5 motorway with the section between Llanthony Road and St Anne Way - currently a single carriageway - creating a bottleneck.

Originally the estimated cost of the scheme was £4.974 million but it has been revealed that the revised estimate has come in at £7.449 million.

If agreed, the funding would come from the council's highways capital grant with the council topping up the remainder with £2 million of Growth Deal funding from the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership.

Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said, "This is a very important improvement scheme for Gloucestershire which is already included in the county council's adopted Local Transport Plan."

Cllr Pam Tracey, local county councillor for Hempsted and Westgate said, "I'm pleased this is being discussed. Residents and commuters would appreciate quicker journeys along the Gloucester South West Bypass."

Nick Broady, managing director of The City Business Centre on Llanthony Road which could be directly affected by the plans, said no one at the council had approached him to talk about the plans.

"I am aware of the scheme, but there had been no meeting regarding the business centre and no decision has been made," he said.

The proposed scheme will see the single carriageway section widened and the traffic lights refurbished to "make traffic flow better".

The side road junctions will also be improved and there will also be improvements to pedestrian crossings and facilities for cyclists.

The extra funding will go towards the cost of the land needed to make the road improvements.

According to the council called Full Business Case Gloucester South West Bypass (Llanthony Road) improvements: "The proposed scheme is expected to have a positive impact on the surrounding area, and has the potential to have a major impact upon existing and planned developments.

"Improved journey times along the corridor will have a positive impact upon local business and future development adjacent to the route and the surrounding areas. The scheme will also accommodate future development such as 'Bakers Quay' and 'Gloucester City Football Club' which will increase demand on the corridor."

Two separate "public share events" were held for the proposed scheme. One was held at Sainsbury's on St Ann's way on Wednesday July 5 2017, and the second at Gordon League Rugby Football Club, Hempsted on Tuesday, July 11 2017.

According to the council 250 people attended. Amey received 44 comment sheets which showed with more than 70 per cent of those agreeing the scheme could improve capacity, increase journey times and reduce congestion.

A lesser figure, 59 per cent, felt it would improve safety and reduce accidents.

It is hoped that the improvements could be complete and open to the public by 2022.

To find out more, and to see the proposed design, visit the county council website.

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