FRESH hopes are emerging that Worcester’s notorious A4440 Southern Link Road will get new investment as part of a £4 billion giveaway by the Government.

The county council says it will launch a major charm offensive to encourage Chancellor George Osborne to hand Worcestershire a slice of money for better transport links.

The financial press suggests the Government is already laying the groundwork for up to £4 billion of handouts for infrastructure.

It follows the autumn statement in December, when Mr Osborne revealed plans to boost the economy by renewed investment into better road and rail links.

As your Worcester News revealed in December, the council has drawn up plans for a £38 million part-dualling of the A4440, from Whittington island to the Ketch roundabout.

But since then many critics have voiced concern about the Carrington Bridge, which will be untouched by the work.

The project will start in April and be done in stages, ending by early 2018 under a timetable revealed by the council.

The Conservative leadership says it wants to lobby the Government so the council is well placed to tap into emerging funds.

It follows a plea from Worcester MP Robin Walker, who says County Hall should lay the groundwork now to investigate the costings and implications of dualling the actual bridge.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure said: “The more dualling of this route we can do, the better - and in an ideal world we’d do the whole lot but we are not in that ideal world.

“We clearly haven’t got that kind of money to do (another) phase ourselves, but of course the aim is to eventually do the entire southern link.

“In any case, we wouldn’t want to do the whole thing now as all residents and drivers around that area will get is constant building work, so we know it’s got to be done in stages.

“But we are committed to it and we are serious about it.”

Both Mr Walker and Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, say they will work with the council in lobbying Government for cash.