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Gloucestershire Business News

More investment for the M5 Junction 9 scheme?

At its meeting next week, the county council's cabinet will be asked to approve further funding for the development of the proposed M5 Junction 9 and A46 (Ashchurch) Transport Scheme.

The M5 Junction 9 and A46 (Ashchurch) Transport Scheme is a proposal to upgrade the M5 Junction 9 near Tewkesbury and re-route the section of the A46 which currently passes through Ashchurch to the east of the M5.

A significant investment is said to be needed for the development of the Strategic Outline Case (SOC) and Outline Business Case (OBC) for the project of around £14million in total, of which £8 million was approved last year by the county council's cabinet.

The £1.5 million of funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced last month will form part of the remaining £6.1 million needed for this work in 2022 - 2023. If agreed by cabinet, The balance will come from county council budgets.

The new road hopes to remove significant volumes of traffic from the A46 through Ashchurch, improving journey times and reliability helping to reduce mainline queueing on the M5 and the approaches to M5 junction 9 at peak periods due to congestion, which is currently a safety concern.

This is said to result in an improved quality of life for residents along the A46 through Ashchurch, with better air quality and improved safety and connectivity which will provide opportunities to deliver a superior environment for cycling and walking, on much quieter, better designed local roads and help to support local economic growth.

At a regional level, the A46 is a nationally significant route between the south west and the midlands, offering an important alternative to the A42/M42 for traffic travelling between the M1 and the M5.

The M5 and A46 through Ashchurch form part of National Highways network and they are supporting the county council's development work.

It has been agreed that although the county council is the current scheme sponsor, subject to approval of the OBC, National Highways would take on the Preferred Route Announcement (PRA) and delivery of the scheme. The transfer to National Highways and the PRA by government would be expected in the summer of 2024.

The proposed scheme is in the early stages of development and the exact location of the new road and details of the junction upgrade are yet to be decided.

Technical work is currently underway with the aim of presenting a number of suitable route options for public consultation in autumn 2022.

Cllr David Gray, cabinet member for environment and planning said: "I will be recommending to cabinet that the county council continues to invest in the development of these nationally significant proposals so that the county can reap the many benefits.

"The scheme will boost the economy, enhance the environment, and improve the quality of life for people living and working around the A46 in Ashchurch.

"It will also help to meet local and national housing needs, improve road safety, encourage active travel and make it even more attractive to invest in Gloucestershire."

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