Highways England has announced details of its proposed road scheme to solve the problems caused by the A417 'Missing Link'. We support the need to make changes but have significant concerns about the impact of the new road. You can read more about our response here
Crickley Hill and the A417 road improvement scheme
The traffic problems caused by the A417 as it passes Crickley Hill are well known and the road continues to blight the area, as it has for many years. There is no doubt that high congestion and collision levels need to be addressed and the problem of the ‘missing link’ finally solved.
Crickley Hill is set within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding National Beauty and, together with Barrow Wake, is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. It's nationally important, thanks to its Iron-Age hill fort (a Scheduled Ancient Monument), ‘time capsule’ archaeology, limestone grassland, ancient woodland and diverse wildlife.
For all these reasons, we welcome Highways England’s ambition to develop an effective ‘landscape led’ road scheme that reflects the sensitive environment of this special place.
Reconnecting the landscape
At present the road divides Crickley Hill from Barrow Wake, Kilkenny and other key wildlife sites along the Cotswold escarpment.
We believe Highways England’s proposal to improve this section of the road presents an opportunity to reconnect a disjointed landscape - improving habitats for nature and bringing benefits for people who wish to explore Crickley Hill and the wider landscape.
However, the preferred route announced by Highways England doesn’t yet provide enough protection for Crickley Hill and the surrounding countryside and we are concerned that it will inflict additional harm.
Working in Partnership
The National Trust shares joint ownership of the land at Crickley Hill with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. We work together as custodians of this delicate, much-loved and well-used site to ensure it is protected for the enjoyment and benefit of both current and future generations.
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust has also voiced its concerns about the route option currently proposed.Both charities are committed to working with Highways England as it seeks a landscape-led solution that can protect the views and setting of Crickley Hill; reconnect the wider landscape; and bring benefits to the local community and road users.
14 Mar 19
Our response to Highways England's preferred route
13 Nov 18
Highways England webchats
Highways England is hosting three live web chats, giving you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding proposals for the A417. These will take place on Wednesday 28 November, Wednesday 30 January and Wednesday 27 February, between 12.30-1.30pm.Join the webchats by clicking here
28 Mar 18
Full response to the A417 consultation
We have raised significant concerns about Highways England's proposed options to improve the A417 at the Air Balloon roundabout. If you would like to read our full response to the consultation, you can download it from here:Read our response here