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Plan to revive A40 route 'won't work' says canals chief

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 26, 2014

  • Map of where the new A40 route is proposed

Comments (7)

PLANS suggested two decades ago for a new A40 route to ease congestion have been knocked back by a canals chief.

Maisemore farmer Jeremy Chamberlayne has called for highways officials to revisit plans for a new road between Longford and the M50 at Gorsley, the commercial and technical director of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust said it won’t work.

David Penny explained how the proposed route, which would have used part of the old canal, could not do so now.

“It was going to be part of a trans-national road across Europe,” said Mr Penny, who said the dual carriageway would have helped link Gloucestershire and Wales with the rest of Europe.

“I think the idea of bringing back this proposal is a red herring. The primary issue is the [Longford] roundabout – I don’t see a lot of restriction on the single carriageway,” said Mr Penny, whose trust aims to restore the canal.

“I would say a road is needed across from Highnam to Quedgeley. A new road for all traffic from the Forest and Newent direction, going to the south west bypass and the M5 is what is needed.

“I totally agree with Mr Chamberlayne that something needs to be done – but not this proposal.

“It would devastate the Leadon Vale area and go over the canal which is protected by planning policy. The route was part of a plan which doesn’t exist now.”

The idea behind the transnational road was to have a continuous dual carriageway crossing mainland Europe and the UK, he said – but it was ditched at EU level.

Mr Chamberlayne argued the A40 route should be brought back to the table because of horrendous traffic problems on the A48, A40 and A417 around Over, north of Gloucester.

The proposal was for a road from the A40 Longford roundabout which would have run across both channels of the River Severn, taking in a junction south of Maisemore on the A417 before heading up towards Newent through the Leadon Vale and Gorsley to junction three of the M50.

But it came to nothing in the mid 1990s, to the relief of many residents in the Leadon Vale, Newent and Gorsley.

Gloucestershire County Council is calling on the Highways Agency to fund a new loop of the A417 around Nettleton Bottom on its list of major schemes, but Mr Chamberlayne wants the old proposal to come forward too.

The county council has said it will consider all ideas to improve traffic flow but the A417 project is its priority.

“I think it could solve a lot of problems and be good for business in Gloucester and Newent,” he said. “It’s worth looking at again.”

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  • dontyaknow  |  January 27 2014, 7:00PM

    billfoster - I would far rather see the canal built that this road. Not least because as ianshumble points out, it will soon be just as clogged. At least the canal is something that will bring people to the county, and people can enjoy (unlike a traffic clogged road). And as mentioned below a new road crossing the Severn between Highnam and South Gloucester is the best option. And if the canal is not progressing as quick as you would like, they are always looking for volunteers to help out.

  • ianshumble  |  January 27 2014, 4:19PM

    Have you noticed from this article and comments that all motorists want a road built so that they can have a clear run from their house to wherever they want to go? Won't work of course, people will be prepared to spend a certain amount of time in a car each day, so they'll just travel further to work, so congestion is just as bad. It happened when they built the Inner Ringroad, Northern Bypass, Brockworth Bypass, South West Bypass and widened the A40. Einsteins definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

  • JemmyWood  |  January 27 2014, 1:40PM

    I bet if you tried doing that to J13, the Whitminster and Frampton NIMBYs will be out in force.. after all, developement in the Stroud area? NEVER! it will disrupt my view/ AONB/insert NIMBY objection here/Whatever.

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  • aarontuckwell  |  January 26 2014, 11:40PM

    A road linking the Forest with the south part of Gloucester (M5 jct 12 / 13) is what's needed.. However to stop the traffic backlog at Highnam and Over, it would need to be located around Westbury-On-Severn / Chaxhill... Also, while we're at it, maybe the one lane that's blocked off for the ex-counsellor's driveway on the A40 should be reinstated too.. Most residents have to deal with having a mirror to see on-coming traffic at the end of their drive and not having a whole lane of a dual carriageway blocked off.

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  • billfoster  |  January 26 2014, 10:40PM

    This "old route" would work well. It's the canal that's the red herring. The canal could be finished in a few hundred years going on current pace. We should be looking at progress and the old,route road would be perfect . Sorry if this is a repost my original post went missing off the site.

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  • billfoster  |  January 26 2014, 10:33PM

    This old route would work. The canal will never come to anything that is the red herring not the road.

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  • Walker100e  |  January 26 2014, 10:25PM

    Actually, a route from the A40/A48 roundabout to the M5 at Junction 12 would sort this issue out.

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