A417 missing link

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
Programme:  

Progress report

Following the consultation that we held earlier this year on the options for the A417 Missing Link, we’ve been considering all of the responses very carefully. We’re using this information to inform the selection and development of our preferred route.

We’re also doing some additional engineering, environmental and economic work to help our decision. As part of this we’re 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.

For more information about the latest A417 project developments, please read our latest newsletter.

Web chats

If you have any questions, join our project team for a monthly web chat from 12:30pm until 1:30pm on the last Wednesday of every month. Just log on at the foot of this page on the day of the web chat and submit your questions.

Here are the dates and times for sessions over the next few months:

  • Wednesday 30 January 2019, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Wednesday 27 February 2019, 12:30-1:30pm

What's next?

We’re planning to announce our preferred route for the project in spring 2019. As part of this, we’ll publish the results of the consultation so that you can see how this has fed into our preferred route selection.

After we’ve 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.

Timeline

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.

Aims

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're 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
  • intrusive groundwater surveys - our teams will be carrying out preparatory work for groundwater investigation studies. This includes using some drilling rigs alongside the existing A417 to help us measure underground water conditions. The full survey work will start in spring 2019.
  • topographical surveys - we'll be carrying out surveys to map the physical features of the landscape. This type of survey is known as a LiDAR survey and it uses remote sensors to examine the form of the landscape. Surveyors will also be on site along the existing A417 to take measurements of the landscape and surrounding area
  • ecology surveys – we'll 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'll 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 entry slip from the M5 . Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Reason : Road repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 18 February 2019 to 11 March 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: February 18, 2019, 6:01 am
Location : The A417 southbound between the junctions with the M5 and the A46 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 19:00 and 06:00 from 18 February 2019 to 23 February 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 19:00 and 06:00 from 25 February 2019 to 2 March 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 19:00 and 06:00 from 4 March 2019 to 9 March 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 19:00 and 06:00 from 11 March 2019 to 16 March 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed.
Posted: February 16, 2019, 6:01 am
Location : The A417 southbound at the junction with the A46 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 19:00 and 06:00 from 18 February 2019 to 23 February 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 19:00 and 06:00 from 25 February 2019 to 2 March 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 19:00 and 06:00 from 4 March 2019 to 9 March 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 19:00 and 06:00 from 11 March 2019 to 16 March 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: February 16, 2019, 6:01 am
Location : The A417 southbound exit slip to the A46 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 19:00 and 06:00 from 18 February 2019 to 23 February 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 19:00 and 06:00 from 25 February 2019 to 2 March 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 19:00 and 06:00 from 4 March 2019 to 9 March 2019. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 19:00 and 06:00 from 11 March 2019 to 16 March 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: February 16, 2019, 6:01 am
Location : The A40 eastbound between the A417 north of Gloucester and the junction with the M5 . Lane Closures : Lane two is closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 11 March 2019. Lanes Closed : There is one of two lanes closed.
Posted: February 15, 2019, 4:02 pm
Location : The M5 southbound between junctions J9 and J11 . Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 21:00 on 19 February 2019 to 06:00 on 20 February 2019. Schedule : From 22:00 on 20 February 2019 to 06:00 on 21 February 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: February 15, 2019, 4:02 pm
Location : The A40 westbound between the M5 and the junction with the A417 north of Gloucester. Lane Closures : Lane one is closed. Reason : Roadworks. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 11 March 2019. Lanes Closed : There is one of two lanes closed.
Posted: February 15, 2019, 4:02 pm
Location : The M5 northbound between junctions J11 and J9 . Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 21:00 and 06:00 from 18 February 2019 to 20 February 2019. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: February 15, 2019, 4:02 pm
Location : The A417 southbound between the M5 and the junction with the A46 . Reason : Roadworks scheme. Status : Currently Active. Period : from 19:00 on 6 February 2019 to 06:00 on 23 March 2019.
Posted: February 15, 2019, 4:02 pm
Location : The M5 southbound between junctions J10 and J11 . Lane Closures : The hard shoulder is closed. Reason : Road repairs. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 06:00 on 10 June 2019.
Posted: February 15, 2019, 4:02 pm

Announcements

Breaking News: Traffic Information

Breaking News

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

The M6 has severe delays northbound between J15 and J17 near Stoke-on-Trent
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
The A14 westbound is closed between junctions J21 and J18 due to an incident near Spaldwick
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am

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  • MG_Highways_England

    Good Afternoon everybody – I’m Michael Goddard, the Senior Project Manager for the A417 project. I’m here today to answer any questions you might have about it.

    • Helen Brittain

      Has there been any adverse results from the Eco surveys so far that may affect the application?

      • MG_Highways_England

        Hi Helen. We are analysing the results from the surveys completed over the summer and will share the results in the Scheme Assessment Report when we make a Preferred Route Announcement in the Spring.

        • Helen Brittain

          Thanks

  • MG_Highways_England

    It’s time sign off now – thanks for your questions. We’ll be back next month and look forward to chatting with you. If you have any queries in the mean time, please send an email through to A417missinglink@highwaysengland.co,uk.

  • Charlotte Collinson

    Hi everyone, I’m Charlotte and work in the project team for the A417 Missing Link scheme. I’ll be here until 13:30 if you have any questions about the project.

  • Dean Griffiths

    Hi,

    How will the upgraded road benefit local people?
    Dean

    • Charlotte Collinson

      Hi Dean,
      A key benefit of the scheme is that it will reduce congestion which will make your journey times more predictable and improve road safety. This means your journeys between home and work, local villages and cities should be much easier. It’ll also mean that businesses can move goods and services around much more efficiently.
      We’re also looking at making improvements to access in the local area for people walking, cycling and horse riding – particularly the Cotswold Way National Trail and the Gloucestershire Way . This should mean people can get out more and enjoy the unique landscape safely.
      The scheme should also help create jobs in the local area and support housing growth as there will be more capacity on the road.
      Charlotte
      Charlotte

  • Mike Roberts

    I do a lot of cycling in the area, how will the upgrades benefit me?

    • Charlotte Collinson

      We are committed to making provision for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders on all our road improvement schemes. Both the Gloucestershire Trail and the Cotswolds Way currently cross over the busy Air Balloon roundabout, which impacts on the experience of visitors to the area and locals alike. Both of our options provide opportunities to improve crossings for people using both the Cotswold and Gloucestershire Ways. The project team is currently developing a strategy for walkers, cyclists and horse riders to influence the preliminary design of the preferred route. This work includes improving connectivity by removing crossings at the same level as the existing A417 around Air Balloon roundabout and providing alternative, safer crossing points. We are seeking to maintain existing rights of way and, where possible, explore opportunities for providing new ones for pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists and other non-motorised road users.

  • Gill

    Hello,
    Could you tell me when the scheme will get built?

    Thanks
    Gill

    • Charlotte Collinson

      Hi Gill,

      We’re currently aiming to start construction in late 2021, subject to gaining all the necessary planning consents. We’re still working on the design but we think it should take about 3 years to build.

      Hope that answers the question.

  • Charlotte Collinson

    Hi everyone,
    Thanks for joining us. We’ll be back next month but if you have any questions in the meantime please email us at A417MissingLink@highwaysengland.co.uk .
    Charlotte

  • AM_Highways_England

    Good afternoon everyone,
    I’m Alan McNeil, the Assistant Project Manager on the A417 Missing Link project. I am here to answer any questions you may have relating the scheme.

  • James Tindale

    How will the new road reduce accidents in the area?

    • AM_Highways_England

      Hello James,
      Currently there is poor visibility on the A417 as well as steep gradients, which is a particular issue for HGV’s at Crickley Hill and the Air Balloon roundabout. We are looking to develop a design to reduce the gradient as much as possible and one which allows for free flowing traffic through the scheme. Additionally we are looking at ways to improve the interface with traffic and Cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders. The proposed scheme will also reduce rat running through the surrounding villages.

  • Becky Andrews

    Are you planning on building a bridleway for horse riding?

    • AM_Highways_England

      Hi Becky,
      We are currently looking at opportunities for horse riding and how best we can accommodate and improve the existing bridleway network. We will look to share more details on this once further design has been undertaken.