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Deadline set for Shrewsbury relief road funding withdrawal

A decision is to be made in November over whether £4.2m to help fund a planned relief road should be withdrawn.

A lack of progress over Shropshire's controversial North West Relief Road has worried contributor, Marches' Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The group said it wanted information from Shropshire Council before deciding whether to recoup the funds.

The authority says it remains positive about the project.

The proposed road to connect northern and western Shrewsbury has caused protests amid concerns over environmental impact.

LEP funding was granted more than eight years ago for a section of the route linking Churncote Island to Holyhead Road - named the Oxon Link Road.

The sum was intended to go towards an overall cost originally estimated to be £80m, but in 2022, the council said costs would be higher. In October, Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski said he would ask the government for another £30m.

Sharing her concerns, LEP chief executive Rachel Laver said: "We're buying a road which hasn't yet been built."

Ms Laver added: "We understand why there have been delays but it is more than eight years since we funded this project and we do have to draw a line eventually."

The whole project, including the link road, is being considered under one planning application set to be delivered later this month or September, a report for the LEP's board says.

Ms Laver said that before a final funding decision was taken by the group on 28 November, the LEP wanted to see an updated business case and fresh traffic modelling, along with planning approval.

The council's leader Lezley Picton said the authority remained positive about the scheme and the benefits it would bring.

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