The need for a relief road - completing the circle
Links between the north and west of Shrewsbury are presently very poor. The most direct route passes through the 'river loop' and consists entirely of single carriageway, all-purpose roads, including residential and shopping streets. Congestion on these routes causes delays and makes journeys unreliable. As a result, some of the traffic between north and west uses other, longer routes to avoid the town centre. Extra traffic on the distributor ring road and the outer bypass adds to the congestion on these important routes and reduces the resilience of the network. Some traffic uses the network of small lanes to the northwest of Shrewsbury as rat-runs to avoid the town altogether.
Other problems arise directly from this fundamental weakness in Shrewsbury’s transport network. Noise, visual intrusion and poor air quality affect people in residential areas and the town centre, as well as people walking and cycling. Accident rates are higher on roads not designed to modern standards. Journeys to work and for business can be slow and unreliable, adding to the cost of transport (including public transport) and discouraging investment. As Shrewsbury continues to develop and grow, these problems are expected to get worse, affecting the town’s economy and local people’s quality of life.
The benefits of the NWRR
The NWRR will provide a new, high standard, direct route between the north and west of Shrewsbury, offering big time savings for road users. For example, a peak-time journey from A5 Churncote to A49 Battlefield would take about six minutes using the NWRR, instead of about 20 minutes through the town centre or 15 minutes on the bypass. Traffic will therefore transfer from the existing routes, reducing congestion and making them more efficient. These benefits will be felt over a wide area, including the outer bypasses, rural lanes, nearby villages and communities, as well as the roads leading into and through the town centre. The NWRR will also help to reduce noise, accidents and carbon emissions, and will improve air quality in areas where people shop, work and live. It will give Shrewsbury a more efficient and resilient road network and support the town’s continued growth and economic development as part of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan.
A number of new paths for cyclists, walkers and horse riders are also proposed as part of the road, and others which currently lead nowhere will be linked up to create circular routes.