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24 September 2014

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You are in: Shropshire > Travel > Roads > The road ahead

The cost of driving

Who's in the driving seat?

The road ahead

Shropshire could see some big changes in its transport infrastructure over the next 20 years... funds allowing.

Plans to introduce road charges in Shrewsbury have been dropped by Shropshire County Council after a study suggested it would be "difficult to balance in cash-flow terms".

More than £2m was spent by Shropshire County Council, on top of £800,000 central government funding, in researching the possible introduction of a congestion charge in Shrewsbury town centre and tolls on the proposed North West Relief Road.

However, even with backing from the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF), the studies suggested that the road pricing schemes wouldn't generate enough revenue to make them worthwhile.

The council is currently looking at other ways to fund the proposed North West Relief Road.

Proposed route of the north-west relief road

North-west relief road in red (approximate route)

What campaigners said about the road pricing proposals before the results of the study

John Everall

John Everall

For - by John Everall

I feel that we cannot ignore the unique opportunity that the Transport Innovation Fund presents and how the proposed measures link in with our wider vision for Shrewsbury.

Shrewsbury is continuing to grow and we cannot stand still, the study is looking at ways to improve the local environment and aid the local economy as this happens.

As a 'New Growth Point' the town could see an extra 3,500 new homes in the area by 2016, also we are working to get the Wolverhampton to Telford high-tech corridor extended to Shrewsbury. It is essential that developments such as these are backed up by investment in infrastructure.
Part of the study has also been focusing on incorporating a possible north-west relief road with a flood alleviation scheme for the River Severn, this would not only benefit Shrewsbury but also other communities downstream of the river.

Against - by Geoff Black

The No Way! group is a coalition of environmental groups, residents' associations and concerned individuals. We are united in our opposition to the Shrewsbury NW Relief Road and are extremely concerned that the plans are being steamrollered through by the council. 

Geoff Black

Geoff Black

The group has long campaigned against the road, not only on environmental grounds, but also because the scheme is totally out of proportion to the perceived 'congestion' in the town centre. The road would devastate some of the highest quality landscapes around Shrewsbury, including Shelton Rough, Laundry Terrace (below Berwick House), the Old River Bed, Cross Hill and Hencott Pool.

Also, for Shrewsbury to be the only town in the region with a congestion charge will give negative signals that will send shoppers elsewhere. It is disgraceful that Government is being asked for massive funds without public consultation - or does the council know the intense hostility to its proposals and is afraid to confront it?

last updated: 03/01/2008 at 17:50
created: 04/07/2007

Have Your Say

How do you feel about the proposals?

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

basil lello
go a head if you want to kill the shoping in the town thats what will happen .

Lysander Starr
Hayley Farr and others can widen their search for car sharing by using the free web site

Stuart Parr
1.8m people signed a petition against road pricing, it should not be implemented anywhere. The motivation of those who are pushing for local schemes is quite transparent - introduce a myriad of schemes that don't work together and charge differing amounts and people will be begging for a national scheme to make it simple and fairer for the driver. Like the British government, local road pricing schemes are all about manipulating the electorate.

Although I realise there is pressure on towns like Shrewsbury to lessen the impact of motorist, for rural members of our communities who have very little chance of using public transport the car is their only means of travel.Therefore charging for use of roads would hit the rural person greatest, and make visit of essential nature, such as hospitals very expensive when added to the parking fees charged by the hospital.

Mike Ablitt
Sheer madness!

A congestion charge for Shrewsbury would accelerate the decline of the Town as an attractive place to shop. With so many other shopping centres in the area, the majority would shop elsewhere. More sensible alternatives for raising funding for completing the Town's ring-road need to be sought.

Dave Evans
What a load of tosh spoken by the 'No Way!' group. Wake up and join the 21st century. There is serious (not percieved) congestion in the town centre and a NW Relief Road will ease that problem. I disagree with the need to charge a toll or congestion charge and central government should put the new road in at their cost.

I think the relief road would be a good idea in some respects. I find the shortest route from Harmer Hill to Radbrook Green is through the town centre although it is not ideal. I believe there is a problem with congestion in Shrewsbury but I wonder if anyone has noticed it is only the case during term time? When there is no school traffic there is barely any traffic and certainly no tailbacks. I would be happy to get the train to work even though it is a half an hour walk to Yorton from Harmer Hill but as they run every 2 hours it isn't convenient. And with the buses at £3.70 return (also every 2 hours, and inconveniently almost in line with teh rail times)ther seems nothing to encourage me to use them, or the trains. But before issues like creating work with a new road occur, perhaps whoever keeps setting up roadworks and traffic lights which seem to be running only at peak times on the Wem Road between the Harmer Hill and Shrewsbury, could try and coincide them to start when traffic is not on its way to work!

Mark B
Having a congetion charge will not benefit anyone apart from the Government and local authorities! We as citizens will initially moan about the fee to start with talk of boycotting the town and then pay it anyway, just like they did in London, and look what happened there. Say No to Congestion charges in towns like Shrewsbury or kiss such picturesque places such as this goodbye!!

Dave Jones
what congestion?! has anyone from the council ever driven in a city?!!! Shrewsbury hasnt got a congestion problem at all. As for a congestion charge into the town, we cannot continue to be taxed so heavily on the roads, its a disgrace. The town centre has run and will continue to run absolutely fine as it is....the only reason i consider the congestion charge is wanting to be put in place is to earn more money and make it tougher for people to live. For christs sake, give taxing a break.

Jack Sutton
North-West-Ring-By-Pass:- the proposed red line route should be further out to form true 'Ring Road' as with other towns UK. I have incident Ruyton XI with car & trailer return from DVLA, 40 tonner other way, narrow sandstone cutting; ouch! No chance of record, red rear foreign plate, most likely guided by Sat-Nav A5 to A53!

Shrewsburys a beautiful town surrounded by beautiful countryside..why would we want another road The money would be better spent on alternative eco friendly modes of transport..cycle lanes, park & ride, buses, trams & why encourage a high tech corridor to turn ourselves into an extention of telford (which is no offence meant ugly). We have the opportunity to preserve the countryside and prehaps set an example to others by choosing to make shrewsbury a greener town (creating more jobs and more visitors) rather than let it become another dirty city.

Rather than taxing motorists why don't they invest in public transport. A county light railway solution would be one initiative. Where I live I am 3 miles from the nearest station and 1 mile from the nearest bus - so I have to drive.

If a congestion charge go ahead, I will just closedown by company and retire, putting 25 people out of work.

I am think is better off the toll road but I am not agreed Because that where my derwen college lives

If road Tolls are introuduced it will be pull down the shutters and goodnight Shrewsbury

Sally Smith
Dont we motorists pay enough for rubbish rosds,we live off the Witchurch Road and the traffic is awful Tescos I believe are to blame so a relief road may be the answer but to charge anyone to go into the town centre stinks are these people trying to kill off the town completely, we go to the centre about once a week but if we have to pay we just wont bother.

ken smith
the road would take a great deal of pressure off some other roads and communities. IE Baschurch, ruytonx1 towns, and the town centre and roads uptowards the new for pricing we have paid for all the roads we have got and they cannot maintain them , the money will be frittered away on schools just like now.

Adrian Lewis
Let's face it... councilliors will jump at anything that provides them with even more tax income from people who work for a living.They should call a referendum on road taxing, lose it, then shut up about it.

D Dalton
Nick,I agree totally.

Hayley Farr
The council should be promoting decreased car use. This will not be aceived by building new roads. To help reduce Shrewsbury's perceived "congestion" problem, the council should be promoting public transport, cycling and car sharing. For those people (like me) who cannot get to work on time via public transport, and leave work too late to catch the last bus home, car sharing is a good way to help cut congestion. I have been sharing a lift since January, after I contacted someone through (for free).
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This is good in many ways – I use my car seldom (saving money), reduce my carbon foot print (and that of my lift-sharee) and have someone to chat to on the way to work, as well as more oppurtunity to admire the passing scenery on my daily commute!

Glen Wilson
Congestion is caused by motorists. Why are motorists congesting Shrewsbury? Perhaps they are trying to get from A to B and town is in the way. A complete ring road may help to remove them and provide a boundary to urban sprawl. Perhaps they are town inhabitants going about their daily business. Then frequent, reliable and cheap public transport running for more hours in the day may encourage them to leave the car in the garage for the benefit of all our healths. Perhaps they are visitors to the town enjoying interesting shops in an historical locale. Then why aren't they making use of the park and ride schemes? I have here to admit that since qualifying for my bus pass I am even more enthusiastic about the scheme (is there a clue here?) and even more depressed by the environment around Rowneys Mansion. Car parks are not a pretty sight. Much as I sympathise with the citizens of Baschurch et al I do think the cost of the new road could be better spent on encouraging the motoeist not to drive than hitting him with a big stick which will only make him hang on to his "right" to drive whenever and wherever he choses with the tenacity of a British Bulldog, Woman equally do not want to lose the liberty a car brings. In short NWRR - maybe if the country as a whole were paying. Congestion charges as part of the deal - forget it Therein lies madness.

Huw Peach
There are between 250,000 and 500,000 new cars on our roads each year (on average we buy 2-2.25m and scrap 1.75m). Hands up if you think this is desirable, sustainable or good for our health and countryside. D Dalton, would you not agree that it would be grossly irresponsible for planners and policy-makers to ignore the environmental impact of cars on our air quality, countryside and wildlife? That is why policy-makers are considering charges. Why this has to happen in Shrewsbury first rather than Birmigham or Manchester is something I am, admittedly, less clear on.How many more years does Sam believe that we can simply build our way out of traffic problems? When does he propose that climate change will be a significant enough problem for us to call a halt to road-building, which we all know just leads to more traffic and thus more carbon emissions? The World Health Organisation estimates that 150,000 people are dying every year in the poorest countries of the world as a result of climate change. Surely we should be CUTTING our emissions. A North West Relief Road would raise emissions by 13%. Mrs Joy Brown wanted to know why No Way! Because we believe a living countryside within Shrewsbury makes us all healthier and happier, and because we believe that other solutions to perceived congestion would be cheaper, more popular and more sustainable than repeating the mistakes of the past.

June J
I am totally opposed to these stupid charges. It looks like what ever we do we will be penalised. I live on the north side of shrewsbury so if i go right I will pay toll charges and if i go left I will pay congstion charges. RIDICULOUS!!!I want to know if council workers from Shirehall and the guild hall will have to be either charges? or will they be exempt because they work there? I urge the council to be realistic and see this will do more harm than good and in effect kill shrewsbury town from locals and visitors alike!!!

D Dalton
IT STINKS!Screw the motorist all thetime,that is all they canthink of.

Councillors listen to your constituents. We DON'T want congestion charging and we DON'T want a toll road. We DO want a NW Relief Road. How you do do that is up to you that's what you are there for. Listen and implement the wishes of the electorate not your own.

Mrs Joy Brown
NO WAY! Why?

Huw Peach
I, like many of your contributors, am totally opposed to this scheme. The fact that this doubly controversial scheme is being proposed without any public meetings or public consultation is simply outrageous.I believe that, rather than a big, expensive, unpopular scheme, Shrewsbury needs numerous smaller, cheaper projects, which command public support, because the public have helped devise them.The estimated cost of a NWRR would be £61m, the countryside would be ruined and carbon emissions would increase at a time when we all know they should be decreasing.Alternatives like the SUSTRANS Severside Gap cycle path would cost an estimated £1m, and would be popular, sustainable and effective in reducing car traffic flows and air pollution.
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If the County council's TiF bid were truly 'innovative', it would be funding 61 schemes like this and involving the public in a vital discussion about transport and sustainability, rather than proposing to ruin Shrewsbury's greatest asset, its countryside.

So if I read this right, there's a charge for a road to avoid the town centre AND a charge for going in the town centre. Double Whammy for drivers. Why don't the council extend charging to include Frankwell - a major congestion black shot, just over the river and where the council workers all drive to work. Coincidence? Also what about parents who due to council school allocation have to travel through town?

My husband and I live near the hospital in Shrewsbury , he works 10pm to 6am and I work 6.15am to 2pm , both at Royal Mail, so using public transport is impossible for us . Does this mean we will both have to pay the congestion charge even though we only need to get from Welsh Bridge along Smithfield Road to our work ? I don't believe that the 'problem' is that bad to warrant a charge . If it comes to it we will both use the longer way around adding more polution to the environment .I believe the sooner the NWRR is built the better it will be for all .

Charles West
Congestion charging is only justifiable if there is serious congestion problem AND a reasonable free-of-charge alternative.To get from The Mount to Ellesmere road is 3 miles through Shrewsbury or 16 miles round the bye-pass. Is that a reasonable alternative? Is it good for the environment to make people drive five times the distance?Add to that the short-sighted folly of combining the whole of the A49 traffic with the A5 traffic and local shoppers and commuters at a single roundabout and then running only two lanes on the combined A49 and A5 and it is no surprise that there is congestion on the Bye Pass.1) Make the Park and Ride Free - Look at Ludlow!2) Sort out the interchange between the A49 and the A5 with an extra lane where both roads are running together.3) And then think again about completing the circle to the North of Shrewsbury.C.W.

Steve English
There is congestion in Shrewsbury on our roads, fact and it's getting worse. Conservative MP whos name I cant spell who spends most of his time in London doesnt have a clue. Shrewsbury people just dont like change. If we dont deal with congestion we will suffer and the town will not be a pleasant place for visitors. Our buildings old as they are suffer vibration and oxide pollution. Less traffic in the town would be a welcome change

Brian R
I live in Newport and visit Shrewsbury about once or twice a month. As a disabled driver you won't see me in Shrewsbury at all if a congestion charge is levied on all vehicles entering the town. My few pounds might not seem much to lose for the traders of Shrewsbury but it'll soon mount up when others boycott the town for Telford!

I have to agree with Sammy Mac. It is a classic case of the officials in Shrewsbury being completely out of touch and not interested in what their constituents have to say. Yes, there is congestion as there woukld be in any town of this size, but to introduce a charge is sheer madness. Shops are closing, people have expressed their views on not wanting the charge, other businesses move out of town. Wake up! The town will be nothing more than a ghost town if this goes ahead.

Megan Good
Our council are totally out of touch with the needs of Shrewsbury and it is dying as a result!! Congestion is being caused by the council funded schemes over the last few years. Less private meetings and more listening to the people who provide the funding in the first place is what is needed.

Katy Anderson
The council say we need a road to reduce congestion. According to their own figures it takes 7 minutes to get across town normally, with a delay of 8 minutes at peak afternoon travel times. So spending £61m on a road and destroying the last remaining green wedge of land close to the town seems a little out of proportion. The road won't help out-of-towners either, as proven at Newbury, new roads only increase traffic. The answer is a lot simpler and cheaper. With promotion and improvement of public transport, walking and cycling, towns around the country are showing that you can reduce car trips by 12%. Take a look at the Department for Transport's Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns. Stop wasting money on designing grandiose schemes and get back to basics which work!

Nicola Jewell
As an independent trader in the town I have huge concerns regarding congestion charges. Regardless of whether the charge is £1 or £10 negative publicity will effect our businesses. Shrewsbury trade suffers when there has been heavy rainfall, with Newspapers and Radio stations advising shoppers to turn elsewhere. Imagine what will be reported if there is a congestion charge/road pricing scheme on top of parking charges? If Shrewsbury introduces a congestion charge then the Council will receive funding from the Government to fund their relief road. The local traders are being sold out to obtain a road that isn't needed or wanted. Shrewsbury is congested first thing in the morning and ealry evening. Name me a town that isn't! The council cannot even guarentee that the money collected on behalf of the Treasury from the congestion charge will be given back to the County Town to improve services etc.Shrewsbury is a beautiful market town with a wealth of independent shops and fantastic history. A relief road, congestion barriers, huge out of town carparks will detract from its beauty.

Colin Case
Anyone who lives on the B4397 in Ruyton XI Towns or Baschurch or any other of the villages and hamlets will know that we are in DESPERATE need of a NW Relief Road. Our Road Agencies seem powerless to reduce the volume and weight of the traffic through our tiny lanes and over our 200-year-old listed bridge.Now they want to CHARGE for using it! This is daft - it is supposed to be a RELIEF road duh! Look at the M6 Toll - empty - while the original road remains full to busting. Are our council taxes being used to fund these ideas??

Frank John
If there is a toll-free alternative, toll roads do not work. Very few vehicles use the M6 toll road despite the M6 congestion - why? - cost!

Sammy Mac
This is a classic case of the elected officials being so completely out of touch with the electorate they serve.I presume they wish to drive trade out of the town and put even more traffic on the over brudened country roads - sheer madness! Cllr John Everall should get a reality check urgently and be reminded who elected him.


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