Shropshire Council

The need for a relief road - completing the circle

Links between the north and west of Shrewsbury are presently very poor. The most direct route passes through the 'river loop' and consists entirely of single carriageway, all-purpose roads, including residential and shopping streets. Congestion on these routes causes delays and makes journeys unreliable. As a result, some of the traffic between north and west uses other, longer routes to avoid the town centre. Extra traffic on the distributor ring road and the outer bypass adds to the congestion on these important routes and reduces the resilience of the network. Some traffic uses the network of small lanes to the northwest of Shrewsbury as rat-runs to avoid the town altogether.

Other problems arise directly from this fundamental weakness in Shrewsbury’s transport network. Noise, visual intrusion and poor air quality affect people in residential areas and the town centre, as well as people walking and cycling. Accident rates are higher on roads not designed to modern standards. Journeys to work and for business can be slow and unreliable, adding to the cost of transport (including public transport) and discouraging investment. As Shrewsbury continues to develop and grow, these problems are expected to get worse, affecting the town’s economy and local people’s quality of life.

The benefits of the NWRR

The North West Relief Road will:

  • Free up road space and take traffic out of Shrewsbury town centre making this a much more attractive place for residents, businesses and visitors. It will also allow more measures to encourage more people out of their cars and to walk or cycle instead
  • Improve safety – many Shropshire villages are currently blighted by traffic rat runs trying to bypass the long loop around Shrewsbury created by the incomplete ring road, with HGVs trying to avoid the A5 thundering through villages such as Ruyton XI Towns, Baschurch, Forton Health and Montford Bridge
  • By reducing traffic in Shrewsbury town centre, it will also help improve air quality. Other environmental benefits will be reduced journey times and fewer jams on the A5 around Shrewsbury, alongside the creation of a new network of cycle routes and footpaths
  • Provide a huge boost for the Shropshire economy, making Shropshire businesses more accessible. It will be a key piece of national and regional transport infrastructure, which will complete a ring around Shrewsbury that’s been unfinished for 30 years, while also supporting a key international road link with Ireland. Furthermore, it's estimated that 85% of aggregates used in schemes such as this come from Shropshire. Once construction begins, it means that not only will we use local materials, we'll also use local people to build it, creating employment and investing in people skills