A417 missing linkRecently updated

Improving the connection between two dual carriageway sections of the A417 at Brockworth and Cowley.

Region:  South West
Start date:  TBC
Cost:  £250 to £500 million
Status:  PLANNED
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  TBC

Progress report

Our consultation on the options for the A417 Missing Link improvement closed on 29 March 2018. Around 800 people visited our drop-in events and almost 2,000 people and organisations gave us their thoughts on the routes we presented. We’d like to thank everyone for their input to date.

We are now considering all the responses very carefully and will use them to inform the selection and development of our preferred route.

For more information about the latest A417 project developments, please read our latest newsletter which you can find in the 'Media and Documents' section below.

What's next

Following our consultation on route options, we’re now analysing the responses from the public consultation. These will be taken into account and used to inform the selection and development of a preferred route. We take public feedback seriously and all comments, issues and suggestions on our route options will be considered as we develop our proposals further. These will be presented in our consultation report, which will be published at the time of our preferred route announcement, currently planned for spring 2019.

We’re also carrying our additional engineering, environmental and economic work. We’ll be carrying out several surveys over the coming months so you may see people in the area carrying out various activities. See the Environmental Impact section below for further information.

After we have selected our preferred route and carried out some more design work, we'll hold a second, statutory consultation to get people’s views on more refined proposals. This consultation will inform our application for a Development Consent Order (DCO).

A DCO is a special type of planning application, which is needed for a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). Following the submission of the DCO application, the Planning Inspectorate will hold a public examination before making a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport, who will decide whether or not the project should go ahead.


Date Event
December 2014 Scheme announced
15 February – 29 March 2018 Route options consultation
April 2018 to spring 2019 selection and development of preferred route
Spring 2019 Preferred route announcement
Summer 2019 Statutory consultation
Late 2019 to early 2020 Submission of Development Consent Order (DCO)
Summer 2021 Development Consent Order (DCO) decision
Late 2021 Start of works
Spring 2024 Route open to traffic

Why we need this scheme

The A417/A419 provides an important route between Gloucester and Swindon that helps connect the Midlands/North to the South of England. It's an alternative to the M5/M4 route via Bristol. The Missing Link itself is a three-mile stretch of single-lane carriageway on the A417 between the Brockworth bypass and Cowley roundabout in Gloucestershire.

The Missing Link causes many problems for road users and those who live or work in the area. Congestion can be frequent and unpredictable so some motorists divert onto local roads to avoid tailbacks. This causes difficulties for neighbouring communities and local roads were not built to accommodate so much traffic. Poor visibility and other factors also mean that accidents, many of which are serious, occur frequently along this section of road.


We want to create a landscape-led highways improvement scheme that will deliver a safe and resilient free-flowing road while conserving and enhancing the special character of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; reconnecting landscape and ecology; bringing about landscape, wildlife and heritage benefits, including enhanced visitors’ enjoyment of the area; improving local communities’ quality of life; and contributing to the health of the economy and local businesses.

The scheme has four key objectives:

  • Transport and safety: to reduce delays, create a free-flowing road network and improve safety along this stretch of the A417
  • Environment and heritage: to reduce the impact on the landscape, natural and historic environment of the Cotswolds and, where possible, enhance the surrounding environment
  • Community and access: to reduce queuing traffic and pollution, improve access for local people to the strategic road network, and support residents and visitors’ enjoyment to the countryside
  • Economic growth: to help boost growth and prosperity by making journeys more reliable and improving connectivity

The scheme in detail

There have been numerous attempts to improve the A417 Missing Link. For various reasons, including affordability and changes in investment priorities, these have never become a reality. In recent years, the case for improvement has become more compelling – to improve safety, support the economy, ease congestion and reduce pollution.

Earlier in 2018, we undertook our consultation on proposed route options for improving the Missing Link. This was the first opportunity for people to give us their views on our proposals. You can view the consultation materials on our consultation page. There will be more opportunities for people to tell us what they think of our proposals once we have announced and developed our preferred route.

We are currently working closely with the Department for Transport towards the selection and development of our preferred route in order to deliver a scheme that carefully balances the needs of the local landscape, environment and economy, while managing affordability and value for money.

Environmental Impact

We’ve already completed our initial habitat surveys to help us understand the potential impact of our project. We are now carrying out several surveys so you may see people in your local area carrying out the following activities:

  • Groundwater Surveys – our teams will use public rights of way to review streams, springs and other groundwater features
  • Ecology Surveys – we will be carrying out surveys to look for a range of species that may be present on the route, such as bats, dormice, otters and reptiles
  • Unregistered land – we will also visit areas of land that are not registered on Land Registry records to obtain further information on land ownership

You can read more about these surveys here:

Project media files and documents

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Project timeline

Planned roadworks

Roadworks and Events for England

The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England

Location : The A40 westbound between the junctions with the A417 north of Gloucester and the A38 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Emergency roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 09:31 on 19 October 2018 to 16:00 on 19 October 2018. Schedule : From 09:30 on 22 October 2018 to 15:00 on 22 October 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: October 18, 2018, 9:35 am
Location : The M5 southbound between junctions J9 and J11 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:01 on 18 October 2018 to 06:00 on 19 October 2018. Schedule : From 20:00 on 19 October 2018 to 06:00 on 20 October 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed.
Posted: October 18, 2018, 9:11 am
Location : The A40 eastbound between the junctions with the A38 and the A417 north of Gloucester. Lane Closures : Lane one is closed. Reason : Emergency roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 16:00 on 18 October 2018. Lanes Closed : There is one of two lanes closed.
Posted: October 18, 2018, 8:31 am


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