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Crickley Hill and the A417 Road Improvement Scheme

View from the top of Crickley Hill in Gloucestershire. Rolling green hills extend into the horizon, with a blue, cloudy sky.
The view from the top of Crickley Hill | © National Trust Images/Emma Weston

Crickley Hill in Gloucestershire is set within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding National Beauty and, with Barrow Wake, is a designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its geology and ecology. Traffic problems along the A417 as it passes Crickley Hill are well known and the National Trust has recognised that high congestion and collision levels need to be addressed. We welcome National Highways’ ambition to deliver a landscape-led road scheme that reflects the sensitive environment of this special place.

The significance of Crickley Hill

Crickley Hill overlooks the Severn Vale, with views towards Robinswood Hill, May Hill, the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains. Alongside being a SSSI, it is also a nationally important site for archaeology, containing an Iron Age hillfort (a scheduled monument), the first battle site in the country and evidence of human activity dating back to 4500 BC.

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 everyone, for ever.

Reconnecting the landscape at Crickley Hill

The A417 road divides Crickley Hill from Barrow Wake and other key wildlife sites along the Cotswold escarpment. Since 2016, we have been engaged with the road scheme and believe that the design of the new road has presented 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.

Our engagement with National Highways, alongside other heritage and conservation partners, has helped to bring about further improvements to the scheme.

A lasting legacy

This scheme has the potential to create a lasting solution that includes measures to minimise the adverse impacts of new infrastructure across this delicate landscape. It will also seek to maximise the benefits for nature, cultural heritage and people.

We will continue to ensure that the protections set out in the scheme approved by the Secretary of State are delivered, and will identify opportunities to improve the outcomes for nature and people.

A417 road improvement scheme: project timeline

6 June 2023

Start of Preparatory Works

Preparatory work has started on the A417 ahead of the main construction phase due to start in October 2023. 

Journey times to Crickley Hill may be affected at various times.

Please check the National Highways website for live updates.

Woodland around Crickley Hill, country park land near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire


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