General Southern Link Road Q&A
Why are you dualling the SLR?
The A4440 Worcester Southern Link Road (SLR) is an essential part of Worcestershire’s strategic road network and provides an important link between the M5, South and West Worcester, Great Malvern, the wider Malvern Hills district, Ledbury, Upton and Herefordshire.
The A4440 SLR is also an important bypass to the city centre and provides one of only two road crossings of the River Severn in Worcester City. It therefore offers an important, alternative route to the city centre.
Before work to dual the SLR between Junction 7 of the M5 and Powick Roundabout began, it was severely congested at peak times. Although the work carried out so far has begun to improve the situation, the full benefits will not be realised until the dualling has been completed.
Will you be building a Northern Link Road?
The case for a relief route to the north west of Worcester (including a new bridge over the River Severn) was considered as part of the development of the South Worcestershire Development Plan's Infrastructure Delivery Plan in 2011.
This detailed technical assessment concluded that dualling the Worcester Southern Link Road (A4440) offered better value for money than the construction of a new link to the north of the city, not least because exceptionally high costs of construction. The current South Worcestershire Development Plan runs until 2030. The case for a North West Link Road may be reconsidered in future iterations of this plan.
Are you planning to install permanent traffic signals on any of the roundabouts?
We are not planning to signalise any of the roundabouts at present. Some temporary signals have been installed on the eastbound carriageway to the east of Norton Roundabout pending the construction of two pedestrian bridges over the SLR when they will be removed.
Why is the scheme being completed in stages?
It would not be possible to fund the whole scheme in "one go" nor would it be desirable to be working on the whole scheme simultaneously as it would result in major traffic congestion. The scheme has therefore been split into phases.
When will it be complete?
The SLR is due to be dualled between J7 M5 and Powick Roundabout by the end of 2021.
Where's the money coming from?
The scheme is funded by a mix of: central government via the Department for Transport (DfT), Worcestershire County Council, the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and contributions from developers who have to pay towards the infrastructure necessary to accommodate traffic generated by their schemes.
Why wasn't is dualled in the first place?
The level of traffic did not justify the SLR being dualled from the outset and it would have therefore been difficult to construct a business case to secure the necessary funding.
Will there be a safety barrier along Crookbarrow Way
A safety barrier (or "Vehicle Restraint System") is only proposed in the vicinity of the Battenhall Railway Bridge on Crookbarrow Way. This is because barriers are not recommended except where there is a risk that an out of control vehicle might collide with a hazardous structure such as a bridge abutment or oncoming vehicles.
Why are there sometimes cones put out but no one is working?
Cones, signs and temporary speed limits (collectively known as "traffic management") are not only there to protect the workforce, they also used to signify to motorists a new or temporary road configuration and as such might be in use even when no-one is working on site. Some Traffic Management measures are usually maintained until a scheme is fully completed and has been through a safety audit process.
When are the footbridges being built between Whittington and the Ketch?
Plans are to install two bridges between the Whittington and Ketch Roundabouts. The Crookbarrow Way Footbridge will be installed immediately to the west of the Battenhall Railway Bridge and the Broomhall Way Footbridge to the west of Norton Roundabout. Both bridges will be suitable for pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooter users and the Crookbarrow Way Footbridge will also be suitable for horse riders. The funding for both bridges is linked to the South Worcester Urban Extension gaining planning consent.