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 our consultation last autumn, we’ve been analysing and considering all of your feedback to help us shape a scheme that is the best possible fit with the landscape, local people and road users. We’re using your feedback to inform further design and development work on some elements of the scheme. These include:

  • The gradient of the A417 as it climbs Crickley Hill
  • Green bridge – the concept of the green bridge and its location in the landscape
  • Cowley Junction – vehicle access issues to Cowley village
  • Barrow Wake – improvements to the route to Birdlip
  • Safe connectivity for walking, cycling and horse riding at Shab Hill junction, and between Brockworth and Crickley Hill

What's next?

As a result of this work we need some additional time before we submit our Development Consent Order (DCO) application, which we now anticipate doing in 2021. We’re hoping that some of these changes will reduce the construction period, meaning less disruption for people using the road during that time.

We’ll also be continuing our survey work to allow sufficient time for any required mitigation before we start construction of the scheme. This includes water environment surveys, agricultural land classification surveys, geotechnical information surveys and archaeological trial trenching.

More information on what each survey is, and what work is involved to gather the information we require, can be found below in our ‘Environmental Documents’ section.

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
September 2019 Statutory consultation
2021 DCO proposals are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate

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.

Our scheme to improve the A417 Missing Link will bring significant benefits to the local area. We spoke to residents, local businesses and political leaders to find out the problems they face and how our scheme could benefit the south west.

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

Since our preferred route announcement in March 2019, we have been developing and refining the scheme to reflect feedback that we received at our first consultation in February-March 2018, as well as studies and analysis we have been carrying out to better understand the surrounding landscape.

A summary of our proposals is as follows:

  • 3.6 miles (5.8 km) of new dual carriageway connecting the existing A417 Brockworth bypass with the existing A417 dual carriageway south of Cowley
  • The section to the west of the existing Air Balloon roundabout would follow the existing A417 corridor. However, the section to the south and east of the Air Balloon roundabout would be offline, away from the existing road corridor
  • A new junction at Shab Hill, providing a link from the A417 to the A436 towards Oxford and into Birdlip
  • A green bridge near Crickley Hill
  • A new junction would be included near Cowley, replacing the existing Cowley roundabout
  • The existing A417 between the Air Balloon roundabout and the Cowley roundabout would be repurposed. We would convert some lengths of this existing road into a route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, while retaining other sections to maintain local access for residents

You can also look at the technical engineering drawings for these proposals outlined above.

Background

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.

In February and March 2018, we undertook a consultation on proposed route options for improving the A417 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.

We received strong support for improvements, with over 70% of respondents voicing support for Option 30, which we announced as our preferred route in March 2019.

Since then, we’ve been working closely with the Department for Transport and a wide variety of stakeholders to develop and refine the preferred route in order to deliver a scheme that improves safety and carefully balances the needs of the local landscape, environment and economy, while managing affordability and value for money. We held a statutory consultation in autumn 2019 giving people the opportunity to have their say on the more detailed proposals for the road improvement

Environmental information

As a landscape led highways scheme, it is important for us to understand the environmental effects of the scheme on the surrounding landscape. The surveys we carried out earlier in the year (which you can read about in the Ecology Factsheet and Water Ecology Factsheet), now form part of our Preliminary Environmental Information (PEI) report, which provides detailed information on a range of surveys and assessments we have carried out to better understand the surrounding landscape.

More information about the PEI Report is available in ‘what we have considered’ section of the consultation booklet.

Project media files and documents

There are no images for this project
A417 Missing Link Public Consultation - Booklet
A417 Missing Link Public Consultation - Feedback Questionnaire
A417 Statement of Community Consultation - September 2019
A417 Missing Link Public Consultation - Consultation Plan - Climbing the Escarpment
A417 Missing Link Public Consultation - Consultation Plan - Overall Scheme
A417 Missing Link Public Consultation - Consultation Plan - Repurposed A417
A417 Missing Link Public Consultation - Consultation Plan - Shab Hill to Cowley Junction
A417 Missing Link Public Consultation - Red Line Boundary Plan
A417 Missing Link Public Consultation - Mainline Plan and Profile Sheet 1
A417 Missing Link Public Consultation - Mainline Plan and Profile Sheet 2
A417 Missing Link Public Consultation - Mainline Plan and Profile Sheet 3
A417 Missing Link Public Consultation - Mainline Plan and Profile Sheet 4
A417 Missing Link - Preliminary Environmental Information Report
A417 Missing Link - Preliminary Environmental Information Report - Appendices
A417 Missing Link - Preliminary Environmental Information Report - Figures Volume 1
A417 Missing Link - Preliminary Environmental Information Report - Figures Volume 2
A417 Missing Link - Preliminary Environmental Information Report - Figures Volume 3
A417 Missing Link - Preliminary Environmental Information Report - Figures Volume 4
A417 Missing Link - Preliminary Environmental Information Report - Figures Volume 5
A417 Missing Link - Preliminary Environmental Information Report - Figures Volume 6
A417 Missing Link - Preliminary Environmental Information Report - Non Technical Summary

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 exit slip at junction J12 . Lane Closures : Lane one will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:01 on 29 May 2020 to 06:00 on 30 May 2020. Lanes Closed : All lanes will be closed.
Posted: May 29, 2020, 7:13 am
Location : The M5 northbound between junctions J14 and J12 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1 and 2 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 29 May 2020 to 06:00 on 30 May 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 1 June 2020 to 6 June 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 8 June 2020 to 13 June 2020. Schedule : From 20:00 on 15 June 2020 to 06:00 on 16 June 2020. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: May 29, 2020, 5:08 am
Location : The M5 southbound between junctions J11A and J13 . Lane Closures : Lanes 1, 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 29 May 2020 to 06:00 on 30 May 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 1 June 2020 to 4 June 2020. Schedule : From 20:00 on 6 June 2020 to 23:59 on 6 June 2020. Lanes Closed : There will be three of four lanes closed.
Posted: May 29, 2020, 5:06 am
Location : The M5 southbound between junctions J11A and J12 . Lane Closures : Lane three will be closed. Reason : Emergency roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 29 May 2020 to 06:00 on 30 May 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 1 June 2020 to 13 June 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 15 June 2020 to 19 June 2020. Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed.
Posted: May 29, 2020, 5:06 am
Location : The M5 northbound between junctions J12 and J11A . Lane Closures : Lane three will be closed. Reason : Emergency roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 29 May 2020 to 06:00 on 30 May 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 1 June 2020 to 13 June 2020. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 15 June 2020 to 19 June 2020. Lanes Closed : There will be one of three lanes closed.
Posted: May 29, 2020, 5:04 am
Location : The A417 southbound between the A436 and the junction with the A419 . Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 29 May 2020 to 06:00 on 30 May 2020. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: May 29, 2020, 5:03 am
Location : The A417 northbound between the A419 and the junction with the A436 . Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 19:00 on 29 May 2020 to 06:00 on 30 May 2020. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: May 29, 2020, 5:01 am
Location : The A417 southbound between the A436 and the junction with the A429 . Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 20:00 and 06:00 from 1 June 2020 to 6 June 2020. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: May 28, 2020, 1:02 pm
Location : The A417 northbound between the junctions with the A429 and the A436 . Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Reason : Emergency barrier repairs are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : Expect disruption everyday between 19:00 and 06:00 from 1 June 2020 to 6 June 2020. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: May 28, 2020, 12:42 pm
Location : The A40 eastbound between the junctions with the A417 west of Gloucester and the A38 . Reason : Road repairs. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 1 March 2021.
Posted: May 28, 2020, 10:42 am
Location : The A40 westbound between the junctions with the A38 and the A417 west of Gloucester. Reason : Road repairs. Status : Currently Active. Period : expect disruption until 23:59 on 1 March 2021.
Posted: May 28, 2020, 10:42 am
Location : The M5 southbound between junctions J10 and J11A . Lane Closures : Lanes 2 and 3 will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 20:00 on 1 June 2020 to 06:00 on 2 June 2020. Lanes Closed : There will be two of three lanes closed.
Posted: May 26, 2020, 3:10 pm

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