Shropshire Council

Project updates

Project updates

Update May 2019

A report on the north west relief road went to full Council on 17 May. The report can be viewed here at agenda item 12.

The report:

  • Provides an update on the progress towards the recently confirmed funding offer for the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road (NWRR), following the submission of an Outline Business Case (OBC under the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Large Local Majors (LLM) funding programme in December 2017.
  • Restates  the future financial commitment required by the council on programme entry to the LLM.
  • Describes Shropshire Council’s NWRR Programme Delivery arrangements, to include team structures, stakeholder engagement, internal and external reporting arrangements, and wider communications plans.

Update July 2019

A report on the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road’s governance and performance management arrangements went to Shropshire Council’s place overview committee on 18 July 2019.

The report updated Scrutiny on the governance, project management and Member /stakeholder engagement arrangements in place to support the delivery of the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road. It also describes Shropshire Council’s Shrewsbury North West Relief Road (SNWRR) programme delivery arrangements, to include team structures, stakeholder engagement, internal and external reporting arrangements, and risk management.

The report can be viewed here at item 7.

Update August 2019

Shropshire Council has withdrawn its planning application for the Oxon Link Road in Shrewsbury, and will instead include the proposed road within the planning application for the Shrewsbury north west relief road (NWRR).

The decision has been taken following the award of £54m of funding from the Department for Transport towards the construction of the north west relief road.

By combining the schemes, the Oxon Link Road can more easily contribute to the strategic objective of the NWRR, whilst also better delivering on the link road’s specific goal of facilitating the Shrewsbury West Urban Extension (SUE).

A new combined planning application will be submitted in Spring 2020.

Further information can be found here.

Update September 2019

The environmental impact of the NWRR

The environmental impact of the north west relief road was considered and fully explained as part of the published outline business case, with the impact balanced against the considerable positive environmental outcomes in terms of air quality, traffic levels, road safety, and increases in forecast walking/cycling activity and public transport use within the town itself. Plans to take in ongoing management of the Hencote Pool RAMSAR site alongside the road’s proposed route, to ensure the proper ongoing management of this key environmentally-sensitive habitat, are also included in the business case.

Shropshire Council is committed to delivering bio-diversity improvements as part of a comprehensive package of measures to mitigate the environmental impacts of the road. Since the funding announcement, the council has been working closely with the Environment Agency and Severn Trent to address their early concerns regarding the road. The council will continue to work with stakeholders and undertake further public consultation before submitting the planning application in spring of next year.

In advance of the Business Case’s submission to the DfT in December 2017, Shropshire Council undertook extensive public and stakeholder consultation including a number of very well attended events. The environmental case was a key aspect of this consultation, and Friends of the Earth were invited, and attended, all of these events alongside the council to fully set out their own position.

For information

Update 18 December 2019

On 16 December, Cabinet approved a proposal for Shropshire Council to combine the North West Relief Road (NWRR) and Oxon Link Road (OLR) into one project.

Since the announcement of government funding for the NWRR - and with the two schemes being intrinsically linked – council officers have explored the option of combining the two projects. The funding award for the NWRR undermined the case for a standalone application for the OLR, and the planning application for the OLR was withdrawn in August 2019.

To date, the OLR and the NWRR projects have been developed as individual projects based on separate Outline Business Cases (OBC) and funding streams.

The OLR - part-funded by the Marches LEP through the Growth Deal fund - seeks to provide a local distributor road to facilitate the Shrewsbury West Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE).

The NWRR - part-funded by the Department for Transport through the Large Local Majors fund - seeks to provide a new strategic link between the west and north of Shrewsbury to improve journey times and relieve the town centre from through traffic.

The two schemes are intrinsically linked in providing the completion of the outer Shrewsbury Ring Road, and the report to Cabinet showed that a combined scheme would offer significant strategic benefits:

  • Better value for money. The changed nature of the OLR will improve the transport user benefits – increasing the benefit for private, commuter and business users.
  • Improved pedestrian and cycle safety. The strategic nature of the combined scheme justifies the inclusion of pedestrian and cycle overbridges at the OLR section.
  • Improved investment perception. Creation of a single flag-ship project promotes Shrewsbury and Shropshire as a place for investment.
  • Reduced real-terms costs. Through economies-of-scale and efficient working practices the combined scheme costs would be less than the delivery of two separate projects.

The combined scheme will align to the NWRR delivery programme with the key milestone noted below.

  • Planning application – Spring 2020
  • Public inquiry – Winter 2020
  • Construction start – Spring 2022
  • Road opening – Spring 2023

Update March 2020

A public consultation is being held, which is an opportunity for everyone to see the current proposals regarding the new road and discuss them with project teams, before a planning application is submitted in May 2020. Details of the events, and how to have your say can be found here.