Pressure stepped up for £49m of improvements to the A511 between Ashby and the M1 near Coalville
The government is being urged to back a £49 million scheme to improve traffic flow on the main A511 between Ashby and the M1.
Midlands Connect has included the scheme among 11 regional projects it hopes will benefit from a £3.5 billion pot of funding available from the Department for Transport.
The DfT has set aside the cash for local road improvements between 2020 and 2025.
The “Coalville Growth Corridor” scheme would include a new stretch of road through Bardon – creating a new north-south link across Coalville.
It also includes nine junction improvements along the route of the A511 between the A42 at Ashby and M1 near Markfield as well as some road widening.
Midlands Connect said improving the A511 would “cut congestion, improve access to new jobs and homes, and improve air quality”.
Around £42 million would come from central government, with developers contributing £7 million.
Leicestershire County Council would deliver the physical infrastructure required.
Coun Blake Pain, lead member for environment and transport at Leicestershire County Council, said: “Coalville is at the heart of a rapidly growing logistics network, and Amazon is already here.
“Our proposals will help cut congestion and improve bus journey times, as well as support the M1 and M42 as a major gateway to East Midlands Airport. It is vital we receive this money so we can put infrastructure improvements in place to support housing, growth and general employment opportunities.”
Coun Michael Wyatt, who represents Coalville South at County Hall, said: “This includes the Bardon Link Road so it would be really, really good news if the government allows the funding.
“The proposed link road would allow traffic to travel around the back of Bardon Road, and would be about three-quarters of a mile long.
“I’ve been pushing and pushing for years for this to happen so it would have my 100 per cent support – especially if it takes HGVs off Bardon Road.”
Councillor Robert Ashman, deputy leader of North West Leicestershire District Council, said it was “great news” for the district and the Coalville area in particular.
He said: “The A511 is a vital link between the A42 and M1 and the upgrade to the existing road will help better accommodate the increased growth for this area and to alleviate impact of the increased traffic on our local communities.
“The proposals will also include improvements to the pedestrian crossings and cycle-ways along the road.
“We’re grateful for the support of MP Andrew Bridgen and local councillors who, over many years, have lobbied for these much-needed improvements and, working closely with central government, Leicestershire County Council and Midlands Connect, we are now much closer to getting the work done.”
North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen said he would lobby the government to ensure that scheme was delivered.
The total Midlands-wide funding request to the government is £596 million, with an additional £143 million to be funded locally.
Midlands Connect, which is part of the Midlands Engine, has been given power by the Department for Transport to work with 22 councils to identify priority schemes to improve local roads in the region.
The funding has been made available to reduce congestion, support housing and employment growth, encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport, and provide better links to motorways and major trunk roads.