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 more than 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 will now consider all the responses very carefully before moving onto the next stage of scheme development.

What's next

We'll spend the next few months analysing the responses from the public consultation, and combining this information with the results of our ongoing environmental surveys. See the Environmental Impact section below for further information.

Once we have analysed the responses we'll produce a consultation report which we'll publish when we make our preferred route announcement, currently planned for later this year.

After we have selected our preferred route and carried out some more design work we'll hold a second 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
Late 2018 Preferred route announcement
TBC Start of works
TBC End of works


Improving the Missing Link will make it easier and safer for walkers, cyclists and horse riders to get around local roads. We'll maintain existing rights of way and are exploring opportunities for providing new facilities for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists. Our proposed route options provide opportunities to improve crossings for people using both the Cotswold and Gloucestershire Ways, helping more people to enjoy them safely. Specific details around crossing points and routes will be presented as part of our next consultation.

Why we need this scheme

The A417/A419 provides an important route between Gloucester and Swindon that helps connect the Midlands/North and South of England. It's an alternative to the M5/M4 route via Bristol. However, there is limited capacity with steep gradients, limited forward visibility and two roundabouts restricting traffic flow between Brockworth bypass and Cowley roundabout.

Our scheme will also aim to enhance the A417 to support economic growth in Gloucestershire and the neighbouring areas.


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.

Over the last 18 months, we've been looking at a number of route options, including proposals which have been considered in the past. We have assessed them against our vision and objectives which were developed in partnership with stakeholders, such as the Cotswold Conservation Board and Gloucestershire County Council.

We undertook our route options consultation between 14 February and 29 March 2018. 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.

Environmental Impact

We’ve already completed our initial habitat surveys to help us understand the potential impacts of our project. Our next round of surveys will be looking at the ecology and hydrogeology (ground water) of the area. These will be starting mid-May.

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 M5 northbound between junctions J11 and J8 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 31 May 2018 to 06:00 on 1 June 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be three of four lanes closed.
Posted: May 25, 2018, 2:30 pm
Location : The M5 northbound between junctions J11 and J9 . Lane Closures : Lane three will be closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 29 May 2018 to 06:00 on 31 May 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed.
Posted: May 25, 2018, 12:30 pm
Location : The M5 southbound between junctions J9 and J11 . Lane Closures : Lane three will be closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 29 May 2018 to 06:00 on 31 May 2018. Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed.
Posted: May 25, 2018, 12:30 pm


Breaking News: Traffic Information

Breaking News

The latest current breaking news items for England's motorway network

The M11 in Essex is experiencing long delays southbound between J10 and J8
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Long delays on the M5 southbound due to bank holiday getaway traffic
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am

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