Following the recent publication of a report from the Highways Agency to find the optimal solution for the “Missing Link” on the A417 road from Swindon to Gloucester, Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown called an Adjournment Debate last Monday 21st April 2008.
During his speech the MP restated the case that he had made in a similar debate in 2006 that a scheme to re-develop the road would not only benefit the South West Region, but the West Midlands Region (11.2 miles away), the South East Region (6.2 miles away) and Wales (14.5 miles away). Because the scheme benefits four regions, it becomes no one regions priority. Therefore under the regional funding allocation process for prioritisation of road schemes no region will give it priority without national intervention.
The Government’s Junior Transport Minister, Tom Harris MP, totally rejected this approach saying it was up to the regions alone to decide their own priorities.
Speaking afterwards Mr Clifton-Brown commented “It seems that the Government are content for more fatalities and serious injuries to occur on this road. Furthermore, this bottleneck is hampering the whole region’s economic growth as well as blighting the lives of residents stuck in endless traffic jams as exhaust fumes ruin our environment”
“The Government are prepared to just bury their heads in the sand and ignore the problem”
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP (Cotswold)
Source: Geoffrey Clifton-Brown