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Mean on Monday

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By Ian Mean

Business West Gloucestershire director & vice chair GFirstLEP

Business in Gloucestershire need to urgently take on board the start of preparatory work on the A417 at Crickley Hill-the so called “Missing Link”.

During this week, the start of the four year long project will mean some night time closures and lengthy diversions.

Companies running heavy goods vehicles need to now start monitoring the National Highways website to ensure their lorries are routed and timed to avoid road closures and the start of the preparatory work.

Up to minute details of routes that may be affected and an update of the main work is available from  National Highways by email: a417missinglink@highwaysengland.co.uk

And if businesses want to receive a weekly update on all works information, closures, and any diversions, they can register with the main contractor Kier’s dedicated service by emailing: A417SchemeEnquiries@ kier.co.uk

This is a huge, half a billion pounds project, that is extremely complex and poses some environmental problems never seen before by National Highways.

One of the major issues on the project is that there isn’t a major route that people can be diverted to-thus the importance for companies to do their logistical homework properly and keep up with developments as the project progresses.

I attended a briefing on the project from National Highways when Deborah Lawrence was very candid about the complexities as work now starts in earnest.

“We have been honest about the next four years and the complexity of this project,” she said.

Business welcomes that honesty.

My view is that National Highways and Kier have so far done a good job in getting out a  complex message about a very complex piece of road.

But I made the point at the meeting last week that this is only the start, and to ensure  the next four years go as smoothly as possible we must start to engage business far more-especially the companies running HGVs.

Yes, it is important to tag snakes-the adders which bask on the side of the road and ensure that badgers have safe passage.

But primarily, this project needs to ensure increased safety on the most 

dangerous piece of road I have ever experienced.

And once finished, it will give the county’s businesses a boost by cutting massive traffic delays.

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