Try out and test our new website!

The A4440 Worcester Southern Link Road Improvements FAQ

Why are you dualling the Southern Link Road?

The A4440 Worcester Southern Link Road 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 Southern Link Road 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 Southern Link Road 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 started 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.

This is mainly due to the exceptionally high costs of construction of a completely new road vs dualling a road that already exists where funding from central government will always be prioritised.

The case for a link road to the North West may be reconsidered in the future.

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 however, we will continue to monitor the Southern Link Road and may consider signals in future, together with additional signs and markings to encourage motorists to keep roundabout entrances clear.

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 the dualling be completed?

The dualling is due for completion in Summer 2022, subject to there being no delays due, for example, to Covid-19 or flooding.

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, 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 it dualled in the first place?

The level of traffic did not justify the Southern Link Road being dualled when the road was first constructed over 30 years ago.

This meant it would have been difficult to construct a business case to secure the necessary funding from central government to complete the dualling at that time.

Why are cones put out when no one is working sometimes?

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.

What footbridges are being built?

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.

The final phase of the scheme will also see construction of a third footbridge to the west of the Powick roundabout on Hams Way which will be suitable for pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooter users. A fully lit underpass will also be introduced to the west of the Ketch roundabout underneath the Carrington Bridge.

Installation of two further bridges will take place between the Whittington and Norton roundabouts. The first is the private farm bridge, situated on the east side of the railway line. This bridge will provide a link between the two halves of Upper Battenhall Farm on either side of the carriageway

The Crookbarrow Way Bridleway Bridge will then be installed on the west side. This bridge, which will be suitable for pedestrians, mobility scooters, bikes and those on horseback, will provide a link between the city centre and the new Worcestershire Parkway Railway Station currently being constructed just off M5 Junction 7.

Why are there three different bridges over Crookbarrow Way?

There are three bridges spanning the A4440 between the Whittington and Norton roundabouts, each with a distinct purpose and style:

  • Battenhall Railway Bridge
  • Private Farm Bridge
  • Crookbarrow Way Footbridge

The Battenhall Railway Bridge is an extension of the previous railway bridge. It’s built to a very high engineering specification, due to carrying trains.

The private farm bridge replaced the previous bridge. It’s a substantial structure, designed to accommodate livestock and heavy farm machinery.

The Crookbarrow Way Footbridge, is a lighter structure, providing a landmark feature. It’s suitable for pedestrians, those on horseback and mobility scooters. It’s designed to be complimentary to the other bridges being constructed over the Southern Link Road, these being the Broomhall Way Footbridge and Hams Way Bridge.

Why don't you build flyovers over the roundabouts?

These have been considered previously, but the cost of building flyovers is huge (each one would cost more than £60 million to build) and it would have been almost impossible to get the funding needed.

There is also insufficient room to build flyovers along the SLR without having a major impact in local residential properties. Each flyover would need on and off slip roads in each direction in order to make it work and this would take up a huge amount of land to deliver.