EFFORTS to get the A435 through Studley into the first group of roads eligible for government improvement money have taken a major step forward.
The route south from Gorcott Hill through Mappleborough Green, Studley, Coughton and Kings Coughton is bedevilled by heavy traffic which is likely to increase once the Redditch Eastern Gateway becomes operational.
Despite this, Warwickshire County Council had only put the A435 into the second tranche of routes likely to be considered for upgrading through the millions released by the government’s Major Roads Network fund.
This had meant that if successful, no work would have been done to improve the route until at least 2025/26.
However on Wednesday, (June 19) at County Hall in a move proposed by the Greens and seconded Liberal Democrats, the overview and scrutiny committee called for a re-evaluation of the priority of the three routes chosen in the first tranche and a report on this to be prepared by officers for the all-powerful cabinet to consider.
Councillor Clive Rickards (Lib Dem, Studley) spoke at the meeting.
“I made the point that there had been decades of campaigning on the state of the A435, how the idea of a bypass had been abandoned by both Conservative and Labour governments and explained the air quality pollution situation in Studley,” he said.
“The leader of the county council, Coun Izzi Seccombe, was sitting in on the meeting and thought the recommendations were perfectly reasonable.
“I should also add that Coun Mark Cargill (Con, Alcester) also endorsed what I said.”
The move means each of the three schemes will be re-evaluated in a report to cabinet which could lead to the A435 being promoted into the first tranche.
“It’s an advance,” said Coun Rickhards, “because before the A435 was in the second division but now there is a chance we can get it up into the premier league.”
The recommendation from the committee also called for a modal shift in transport policy to reduce the threat of climate change.