PROPOSALS for a radical new road shelved 20 years ago should be reconsidered to try and solve one of the county's biggest traffic jams, a businessman believes.
Maisemore farmer Jeremy Chamberlayne wants highways officials to dust off the plans to route a new A40 from Longford to Gorsley.
They were ditched when the Government cut back on major roads schemes but Mr Chamberlayne believes the new road is needed now more than ever when traffic backs up on the A40 at the Northern Bypass, Highnam, Over and Churcham, on the B4215 Newent road and the A48 at Minsterworth.
Maisemore and Hartpury are cut off by floodwaters on the A417 most years, which adds to the congestion.
"There is a need for it today because there is so much traffic," said Mr Chamberlayne. "Obviously it's going to cause a lot of objections but I believe it's second only to the Crickley Hill problems in terms of the traffic issues which face the county."
Gloucestershire County Council is calling on the Highways Agency to fund a new loop of the A417 around Nettleton Bottom to its list of major schemes.
That would cost £250 million and the council has launched a petition to gather support.
"When the A417 floods, traffic diverts to the Newent road and it can take anything up to two hours to get from Maisemore to Gloucester," said Mr Chamberlayne.
The proposal considered in the early 1990s ruled out widening the A40 between Highnam and Ross-on-Wye because of the hilly terrain, so mapped out a new road from the A40 Longford roundabout which would have run across the east channel of the River Severn to a junction south of Maisemore on the A417, across the west channel, before heading up towards Newent and Gorsley to junction three of the M50.
The proposed route would have run north of Rudford on a new road to a junction with the B4215 a few hundred yards south of the Hartpury junction at Highleadon.
The new road would have run on the south side of the B4215 until the Newent bypass/Newent town junction, where it would have followed the route of the bypass.
At the B4215/B4221 junction in Newent the new road would have been constructed in a near straight line to junction three of the M50.
The Highways Agency bought up property including the Travellers Rest pub in anticipation of the scheme.
Highnam parish and Tewkesbury Borough councillor Derek Davies said the scheme failed on cost grounds last time.
"I believe the A417 at Maisemore shouldn't be allowed to flood and that should be a priority," he said.
Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member for planning and infrastructure Will Windsor Clive said: "We are always interested to look at proposals which aim to keep the county moving.
"Sometimes the best ideas come from local people. At the moment our priority for Highways Agency funding is sorting out the A417 'missing link', but when that's completed, we'd be happy to look at ideas like this in more detail."
A Highways Agency spokeswoman said £28billion of investment in major roads is planned until 2021 and £50billion until 2029.
Some 52 major road schemes are programmed and 200 smaller "pinch point" schemes costing less than £10million, such as improvements at the Over roundabout, are scheduled.
The major schemes have been fed in to the agency's route-based strategy, on which local authorities can make a case for inclusion.