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House of Commons Hansard
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03 December 2009
Volume 501
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6. What recent discussions he has had with the Highways Agency on improvements to the A417 Cowley to Brockworth road in Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement. [303669]

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The proposed A417 Cowley to Brockworth improvement scheme has not been included by the south-west region in its forward programme of priorities up to 2019 contained in its regional funding advice submitted earlier this year, and I have accepted that advice. As the major scheme is not being pursued, the Highways Agency has commissioned a study to identify what smaller-scale, more affordable measures might be pursued to improve the performance of the road. I expect the study to report later next year.

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I thank the Minister for that response, but he will be aware that this issue has been dragging on for probably the best part of 20 years, having been ably taken up by my hon. Friend the Member for Cotswold (Mr. Clifton-Brown)—the road runs through his constituency and into my area—and we are now told it will not be considered for the next 10 years. This is a major disappointment for the residents of the area, and for the people who are injured on those roads and who queue on them every single day, not just in the rush hour. Is there nothing the Minister can do to bring about the much-needed improvements to that road?

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As I said in my initial answer, the Highways Agency is committed to ensuring that the road is as safe as possible until regional colleagues are able to identify the scheme for inclusion in its programme.