Shropshire Council

Shrewsbury North West Relief Road – Public Consultation 2017

  • Period: 17 October 2017 - 08 November 2017
  • Status: Closed
  • Audiences: Everyone
  • Topics: Traffic management, Transport, Asset management, Site development
  • Type: Public

Since the last North West Relief Road (NWRR) consultation in 2010, Shropshire Council has been able to secure the delivery of the Oxon Link Road formerly part of the NWRR. This will connect Churncote Roundabout on the A5 bypass with the Holyhead Road near the Shelton water tower and facilitate delivery of the Shrewsbury West Sustainable Urban Extension development, north of the Welshpool Road. The Council is now preparing to submit a funding bid to take the remaining sections of the NWRR forward and is therefore taking the opportunity to remind stakeholders and Shropshire residents about the scheme and to get a measure of current opinion. The proposed alignment has not changed since 2010.

Public exhibitions are being held at the following venues:

  • Shirehall reception, Shrewsbury - Tuesday 17 October, 5pm until 8pm
  • The Darwin Shopping Centre (lower level), Shrewsbury - Friday 20 October, 2pm to 5pm
  • The Darwin Shopping Centre, (lower level) Shrewsbury - Saturday 21 October, 10am to 5pm
  • The Grange Youth Centre, Mount Pleasant Road, Shrewsbury - Monday 23 October, 2pm to 8pm
  • Baschurch Village Hall, Eyton Lane - Tuesday 24 October, 4pm until 8pm
  • Oxon Church Community Hall, Welshpool Road, Shrewsbury - Wednesday 25 October, 2pm to 8pm

Details of the proposed scheme can be viewed below. The full set of public consultation information boards are also attached to this page for downloading. Once you have read about the proposals please complete the online survey by 8 November 2017. Click on the get involved tab to access the survey.

We also have a short video on Youtube about the scheme which you can view by clicking on the link under related information. Please note that the road side lay-bys shown on the video are no longer proposed as part of the NWRR scheme.

Your views are not only welcome but important.

Paper copies of the consultation material can be viewed at:

  • Shirehall reception, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury SY2 6ND; and
  • Shrewsbury Community Hub, 1A Castle Gates, Shrewsbury SY1 2AQ

until the end of the consultation period.

If you would prefer to complete a paper copy of the questionnaire please contact WSP on 01743 501060.

We are creating some web pages with further information about this scheme. This will be updated as things progress and can be found using the link under the related information section of this page.


High and growing levels of traffic on routes in and out of Shrewsbury town centre result in environmental problems, safety issues, congestion, and delays to goods and people. Problems are particularly acute on routes linking the north and west of the town via the town centre. Since 2003 various possible solutions have been considered and there has also been a lot of public consultation.

Our vision for transport in Shropshire in 2020 is:

An economically vibrant, healthy, inclusive and sustainable society where people meet many of their needs locally, served by an integrated transport system which allows people to have good and reliable access to jobs, services, learning and leisure opportunities, and which protects and enhances environmental quality and human health. (Local Transport Plan for Shropshire 2006-2011)

The North West Relief Road (NWRR) is a new single carriageway road which would run from the Holyhead Road (near the water tower) west of Shrewsbury to Ellesmere Road west of Battlefield. The NWRR would be linked to the Berwick Road by a roundabout north of the agricultural showground. It would cross both the River Severn and its flood plain and the Shrewsbury to Chester railway line on new bridges. A roundabout junction at the Holyhead Road will then be linked to the A5 at Churncote Roundabout by the new Oxon Link Road due to be open in 2021.

Route alignment information board

North West Relief Road objectives

The objective of the NWRR are:

  • To improve connectivity and accessibility between the north and west of Shrewsbury for all modes of transport
  • To reduce traffic congestion in Shrewsbury town centre
  • To reduce traffic congestion on the north and west approaches to the town
  • To improve the reliability of journey times and reduce unforeseen delays
  • To improve the efficiency of Shrewsbury’s transport network for all modes of transport
  • To improve the resilience of Shrewsbury’s transport network
  • To enhance the benefits of the Oxon Link Road and Integrated Transport Package
  • To reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on roads in Shrewsbury
  • To improve air quality, especially in the built-up areas of Shrewsbury
  • To reduce net emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases

Route history and detailed description

To develop the option of building the road, other studies were commissioned including a number of detailed routes.

The results of the design review and 2005 public consultation were reported to Shropshire County Council's Cabinet in February 2006. Further technical work and environmental assessment resulted in a report to Shropshire County Council’s Cabinet in January 2007 at which meeting the Cabinet resolved that:

"The modified Black Route should now form the basis of the more detailed work needed to develop the scheme, including further site surveys, investigation of design issues and consultation with stakeholders and the public."

This scheme was subject to a consultation in 2010. Since then Shropshire Council has been able to secure funding to deliver the Oxon Link Road (formerly a section of the NWRR). A new opportunity to bid for funding to complete the remaining sections at a cost of £104 million has been presented to the Council. As part of this process the Council is undertaking a consultation exercise to remind people about the scheme and asking them for their views.

The Oxon Link Road - Churncote Roundabout to Holyhead Road

Key features will be:

  1. Roundabout at Churncote
  2. Pedestrian and cyclist crossing points at Calcott Lane, Clayton Way and the Little Oxon Lane Roundabout
  3. Calcott Lane, Clayton Way and Shepherd’s Lane will be closed to through traffic
  4. New roundabout at Little Oxon Lane
  5. New footway/cycleway along route
  6. Delivered as part of the Shrewsbury West Sustainable Urban Extension

View this route plan information board

North West Relief Road Preferred Route - Holyhead Road to Berwick Road

Key features will:

  1. Severn Way diverted under new bridge
  2. New bridge crossing over River Severn and floodplain
  3. Wildlife culverts underneath road
  4. Roundabout junction at Berwick Road

View this route plan information board

North West Relief Road Preferred Route - Berwick Road to Battlefield Link Road

Key features will be:

  1. Bridge over railway
  2. Marches Way diverted through underpass
  3. Hencott Pool acquired to enable habitat improvements
  4. Enlarged roundabout at Ellesmere Road
  5. Huffley Lane diverted

View this route plan information board

The environment

The route of the proposed North West Relief Road runs through attractive and undeveloped countryside with some special sites like Hencott Pool. Thus in spite of the benefits there will be some adverse effects.

To minimise the impact on the environment, measures including planting, cleansing pollutants, screening and maintaining public rights of way, have been built into the design. (Some of these measures were incorporated in the design of the Hodnet Bypass.)

Drainage pond

  • Prevent flooding
  • Collect and retain surface water run-off
  • Treat run-off to remove major pollutants
  • Release cleansed water into local streams
  • Provide habitats for wildlife

Wildflower grassland 

  • Create high biodiversity value areas
  • Attracts insects, birds and small mammals
  • Provide attractive feature along the road
  • Provide habitats for wildlife

Woodland planting

  • Provides screening
  • Integrates the road into the landscape
  • Native species benefit wildlife
  • Provide habitats for wildlife

Boundary Hedge Planting

  • Defines highway boundary
  • Native species benefit wildlife
  • Provides screen
  • Provide habitats for wildlife

Pedestrians, Cyclists and Horse Riders 

  • A continuous shared footway/cycleway along the road route, with some provision for horse riders
  • Separated from the road to reduce noise and fumes where possible. Integrated with existing public rights of way to create opportunities for short circular routes. Some existing rights of way would be diverted to maintain links.
  • Safe crossing points would be provided including underpasses for the Severn Way and Marches Way

View information board showing illustrations of these issues

Environmental resources

The route across the open landscape would result in some adverse effects for the environment. For example it would:

  • be visible from some of the housing on the edge of the town and the Registered Park and Garden at Berwick
  • cross the River Severn on a viaduct and pass close to the old river bed
  • affect an area of archaeological importance
  • result in the loss of some trees, hedgerows and agricultural land
  • disturb some wildlife habitats

The route also crosses quite close to Hencott Pool, which is part of a wildlife site of international importance. However, as the council propose to acquire the area as part of the road project, there are opportunities to enhance the site and safeguard its future with a long term management plan, resulting in a net environmental benefit. Environmental issues have played an important part in the selection of the preferred route. The proposals provide the best opportunities for benefits resulting from reduced traffic at the same time as keeping the potential for adverse effects to a minimum. A detailed environmental impact assessment will be carried out and the results published in an Environmental Statement to accompany the planning application.

View the information board showing some of the environmental resources affected by the proposals.

Environmental effects

By reducing traffic flows and congestion in several parts of the town, the relief road would have environmental benefits. Work undertaken in 2010 indicated that:

  • for local air quality there would be both improvements and deterioration for people, depending on traffic changes; however, on balance there would be an overall improvement in local air quality
  • if opened today (2017) traffic noise would be reduced at 1417 houses, compared with increases at 351
  • there would be an enhanced setting for the town’s heritage features, including scheduled monuments, listed buildings and conservation areas
  • there would be better access for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport, given less conflict with traffic, as well as improved safety

Also in 2010, carbon emissions from traffic were predicted to increase by a similar amount with or without a relief road in place (approximately 10% over a 60 year period).

View the information board for a plan illustrating (2010 predictions) where traffic decreases would result in environmental benefits and where traffic increases would result in adverse effects. The percentages used to identify traffic changes are equivalent to a one decibel change in noise, the difference which could be perceived by people. They also provide an indication of other potential effects on amenity, including air quality, access for pedestrians and cyclists, and the setting of heritage features.

Traffic Figures with a relief road

Based on surveys taken in 2009, a forecast was made of the changes in traffic on local roads that might occur if a NWRR was opened in 2017.

New surveys have since been undertaken, and the traffic model used to predict future traffic flow is being updated, so the forecasts could change. Any decision to progress the scheme will be based on the most up to date information.

Journey times: if the relief road were built, travelling from the A5/A458 Churncote roundabout to Battlefield would take 6 to 7 minutes.

Traffic flow increase in 2017 with a relief road

Location (plan ID)

6% to 10% increase

  • A5 (B4386 to Welshpool Road) (E2)

11% to 15% increase

  • Shelton Road B4380 (B5)

Greater than 30% increase

  • Holyhead Road (B8)
  • Battlefield Link Road (west) (C9)
  • Churncote to Holyhead Road (F1)
  • Holyhead Road to Berwick Road (F2)
  • Berwick Road to Ellesmere Road (F3)
  • Knights Way (G3)
  • Huffley Lane (G2)
  • Harlescott Lane (G5)

Traffic flow decrease in 2017 with a relief road

Location (plan ID)

-6% to -10% reduction

  • High Street (A8)
  • Porthill Road A488 (B1)
  • Roman Road B4380 (B4)
  • Welshpool Road (Shelton end) (B7)
  • Telford Way (west) (C5)
  • Hazledine Way A5112 (D5)
  • Robertson Way (D8)
  • A5 (Wenlock Road to Bayleys) (E5)
  • A5 ( Emstrey to Wenlock Road) (E6)

-11% to -15% reduction

  • Longden Road / Coleham (D3)
  • Pritchard Way A5112  (D6)
  • Bage Way (D7)
  • A49 (north of Sundorne Road) (E9)

-16% to -20% reduction

  • Whitchurch Road (north of Heathgates) (C6)
  • A49 (south of Sundorne Road) (E8)

-25% to -30% reduction 

  • Copthorne Road B4386  (B2)
  • The Mount (Shelton end)   (B6)
  • Welshpool Road (Bicton end) (B9)
  • St Michael's Street (C4)
  • Battlefield Road (C8)

Greater than -30% reduction   

  • Smithfield Road (Welsh Bridge end) (A2)
  • Welsh Bridge (A3)
  • Smithfield Road (middle section) (A4)
  • Smithfield Road (north section) (A5)
  • Chester Street (one way) (A9)
  • The Mount (Frankwell end) (B3)
  • Coton Hill (C2)
  • Ellesmere Road (north of Berwick Road) (C3)
  • Ellesmere Road (south of Harlescott Lane) (C7)

View the information board for a plan showing the above changes

Non-road measures considered

Before proposing the North West Relief Road, Shropshire County Council evaluated whether congestion in the town could be solved by other means.

Non road measures tested for solving congestion:

  • Light rail and guided bus
  • Improvements to existing bus services and facilities
  • Improved rail services (including rail freight)
  • Improved cycling and walking facilities
  • Increase car park charges
  • Traffic management
  • Road pricing

The results showed that these means alone would not produce benefits equal to those which could be achieved by building a North West Relief Road. However a North West Relief Road, if built, could create improved conditions for other types of transport including:-

  • More reliable public transport and Park and Ride
  • Opportunities for more cycle and pedestrian facilities
  • Safer roads

Unlocking Shrewsbury’s Potential

The Shrewsbury North West Relief Road will complement the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package (SITP) and together they will support the delivery of the Big Town Plan by removing significant levels of traffic from the town centre.

The Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package includes:

  • key junction improvements at Reabrook Roundabout, Meole Brace Roundabout, English Bridge Gyratory and Coleham Head to increase traffic capacity and improve pedestrian and cycle facilities.
  • implementing further improvements to traffic signal operation and manage traffic flows on main arterial routes.
  • enhancements to pedestrian and cycle links to increase accessibility to the town centre
  • improved pedestrian wayfinding within and around the ‘river loop’ to generate a highly accessible and connected town centre for pedestrians
  • enhancements to the public realm, such as Pride Hill.

Shrewsbury Big Town Plan—Improving Movement and Place

“A town – and a town centre – that feels great to be in, to move around, is vital to Shrewsbury’s future success and sustainable growth. Quality places, designed with people at its heart, make people feel welcome and create a canvas for public life; while ease of movement, that strives for the right balance between modes, further supports quality of life and, as crucially, the business environment.”

The Big Town Plan proposes an overarching plan that supports the town’s ambitions and growth. Working iteratively with the spatial plan, this will include both small-scale movement and larger infrastructure or structural changes. This will guide specific activity and plans to:

  • Develop a great walking environment
  • Create a cycling culture
  • Reduce the impact of parking in the centre
  • Develop an overall traffic management strategy which consider how traffic can be reduced by providing viable, attractive alternatives of transport to discourage unnecessary vehicle movement in the town centre. This will need to link to the wider urban design strategy, pedestrian-priority and cycling networks, the Local Plan and the whole town road and rail network. It should take into account the use of the two ring roads and north west relief road, and other measures to discourage through traffic.

View the information board for an illustration of the SITP and Big Town Plan

What's next?


Indicative timescale

Shropshire Council updates work on the design, costs, benefits and impacts of a NWRR

Aug to Dec 2017

Public and stakeholder consultation

Oct / Nov 2017

Council considers results of consultation, together with updated information on the costs, benefits and impacts of the NWRR and decides whether to go ahead with the scheme

December 2017

Council submits Outline Business Case to the DfT, asking for a contribution from the Large Local Majors Fund

December 2017

Funding decision expected from DfT

Spring 2018

Shropshire Council continue with scheme preparation and design, including more details studies on environmental impact.


Planning Application

Winter 2018

Public Inquiry

Spring 2019

Confirmation of Public Inquiry decision

Summer 2020

Shropshire Council invite tenders for construction of the scheme and DfT agrees to release funds for construction

Summer 2020

Construction start

Winter 2020

North West Relief Road opening

Spring 2022

Throughout the process there are further opportunities to have your say with more exhibitions before we get to the Planning Application stage.

How much would a NWRR cost and who will pay?

Our current estimate of the cost of building a NWRR (excluding Oxon Link Road) is £104 million.  Shropshire Council will be asking the Government to fund about 80% of this (about £83 million) from a fund specially set up for large local transport schemes. The Council expects to make a “local contribution” of about 20% of the total cost (about £21 million)

The Council is preparing an Outline Business Case for consideration by the Department for Transport. All cost estimates are currently being reviewed and updated for the Outline Business Case


Having read all the information available, click on the green button to access and complete our short online questionnaire about the North West Relief Road.

Go to the questionnaire »

Data protection

Information collected in our surveys will only be used by us (Shropshire Council) to inform the immediate and future provision of our services. The information you provide will be kept confidential in accordance with our Privacy Policy. It will not be shared outside of Shropshire Council. Information collected via our online surveys (hosted on the Surveymonkey website) will be stored on SurveyMonkey’s servers in the United States of America and SurveyMonkey gives an undertaking never to disclose the survey questions or your responses to others without permission.