Pupils take to the road as consultation on A417 continues

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Children at Birdlip Primary School in Gloucestershire had fun using a driving simulator as part of a visit aimed at bringing pupils, teachers and parents up to date on plans to improve journeys between Brockworth bypass and Cowley roundabout.

This visit was the latest in a series of events hosted by the School, which have included a visit from Highways England Traffic Officers, a bridge building session to promote careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and bringing the Highways England engagement van to the school fete.

During the visit the project team shared the latest details and made sure that the youngsters had the chance to play with the technology that is bringing the route to life. The project team were again impressed by the level of interest shown by the pupils in the proposed development, of the key route linking the South West and Midlands. The visit was part of a wider community programme to publicise consultation.

Highways England Senior Project Manager, Mike Goddard, said:

The consultation we are currently running is an important step before submitting a planning application.

The upgrade will bring many benefits including helping to boost growth and prosperity by making journeys more reliable and offering more predictable journey times; it will also improve safety for drivers and reduce air pollution from queuing traffic.

Children and young people will benefit from these improvements too and their eagerness to know more about road development and our work in this area is impressive.

Class teacher, Laura Davis, said:

This was a wonderful opportunity to study the A417 Missing Link in depth. The children engaged with the interactive simulators to find out exactly where the new road will go and how it will look. The team took the time to answer all the questions fully, in a way that was relevant to the children, the parents and the staff who turned up.

The planned A417 Missing Link improvement will see the last stretch of three miles of single carriageway on the 31-mile A417/A419 route upgraded to dual carriageway.

Highways England announced the preferred route for the scheme, part of the Government’s £15 billion road investment programme, in March this year and consultation on detailed plans for the scheme began on September 27.

The project team has already spoken to over 1,000 people over the course of consultation and there are still plenty of opportunities to have a say before consultation ends on November 8.

Highways England’s ‘chatty van’, a mobile unit where members of the public can view plans and meet the project team, has proved so popular new locations and dates have been added right up to the last day of consultation.

People can also provide feedback through the scheme’s website where they can also register for updates on all the project’s latest news, including announcements about the consultation van. A ‘virtual consultation’ is also available, where you can view all the materials as they were presented at our consultation events.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

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