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Guest Column by Harriett Baldwin MP


22nd November 2017

One of the most common conversations I have with residents and businesses is the continued traffic problems at the Carrington Road bridge and the challenges getting staff, customers and most importantly, prospective customers to and from the motorway. The A4440 has been operating at well over capacity for many years and it has been a long-standing campaign pledge of mine to deliver the Government funding to double the bridge and improve this vital river crossing.

This issue came into direct focus in 2014 when I was asked to make recommendations to Downing Street about what our county needed to have better resilience during times of heavy flooding and I together with my MP colleagues stepped up the pace on a lobbying effort to secure the funding from the Department for Transport.

The news that this project had been successful had been rumoured for some time, but it was great to see Herefordshire MP and Roads Minister, Jesse Norman, standing by the busy link road confirming the £54.5 million funding. I have always been an advocate of the ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get approach’ and in this respect this is a huge piece of news for local commuters.

I fed in to the pre-planning application process earlier in the year and Worcestershire County Council will now work towards getting the work underway with a start date in 2019 and the new bridge open by 2021. Work is expected to be carried out alongside the current bridge meaning that disruption will be kept to an absolute minimum and I am reassured that the plans include elements like new cycle lanes meaning that not only motorists will benefit from the new project.

This will be a huge boost to the businesses who feel that our transport links often hold our county back – in particular those who live or work west of Worcester and I hope that employers of all sizes will feel confident to plan for business expansion.



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Harriett Baldwin
 
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