We have significant concerns about the options put forward to improve the A417. Together with our partners, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, we have produced a response to Highways England's consultation on the route options for the A417 improvement.
Crickley Hill and the A417 road improvement scheme
The traffic problems on the A417 as it passes Crickley Hill are well known and have blighted the area for many years. We recognise the need to reduce the congestion and number of collisions on this stretch of road and solve the problem of the ‘missing link’.
At present the road divides Crickley Hill from Barrow Wake, Kilkenny and other key wildlife sites along the Cotswold escarpment.
Reconnecting the landscape
We believe Highways England’s proposal to improve this section of the road present an opportunity to also reconnect the landscape improving habitats for nature as well as bringing benefits for people who wish to explore Crickley Hill and the wider landscape.
It is important that the improvements from the road scheme include benefits for nature, and benefits for those who wish to explore the open countryside of the Cotswolds escarpment and at the same time remove the damage caused by the existing road.
Crickley Hill is important for its nationally significant Iron-Age hill fort, its wildlife and ancient woodland and a wide variety of habitats – part of the hill is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The National Trust jointly owns Crickley Hill with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
Together we have raised significant concerns about the proposed options for the road improvement. We would like to see the road given better funding to Highways England can deliver their vision for a scheme that brings benefits for the environment, for the local community, for tourism and for all those who use the road.