New river crossing in Worcester "unlikely", says city MP

The main Worcester Bridge as debris was cleared away last week

The main Worcester Bridge as debris was cleared away last week

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

WORCESTER’S MP has backed a bid by the city council’s Labour leadership for a new river bridge – but admits he fears it is “unlikely” to happen.

Robin Walker said it would be “wonderful” if the letter from Councillor Adrian Gregson to the Prime Minister made a difference, but believes the costs will put it out of reach.

As your Worcester News revealed on Tuesday, Cllr Gregson has contacted David Cameron to suggest the Government should pay towards a new River Severn crossing after the floods closed Worcester Bridge.

The council’s Labour leader said independent traders had suffered after the rising waters shut the only bridge crossing in the city.

But Mr Walker, who was also sent the letter, said he thought the scheme was unlikely to be completed.

“It was a perfectly sensible letter, the only thing I would dispute was the ‘if money is no object’ view as the Prime Minister clearly said that in relation to flooding victims,” he said.

“If the Prime Minister reads it and says ‘here’s the money for a new bridge’ then wonderful, but I don’t think it’s likely to happen.

“The only way we can get the money for it is if Worcestershire County Council makes a bid to the DFT (Department for Transport), David Cameron can’t pay for it and nor can the city council.”

He also said he strongly backs the stance of County Hall, which is focusing on dualling the A4440 Southern Link Road instead.

The county council has shelved old proposals for a Northern Relief Link Road in favour of creating a £38 million plan to partdual the notorious A4440 in south Worcester.

“The council is trying to plough on with dualling the Southern Link Road and that’s something I’m in favour of addressing,” he said.

The county council has effectively ruled out a Northern Relief Link Road because of the estimated costs of at least £160 million.

Work on dualling the A4440 stretch from Whittington island to the Ketch roundabout will finish by 2019, and the council then wants to focus on getting funds in place for carrying out the same work on Carrington Bridge.

Comments (9)

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11:05am Sat 1 Mar 14

gmoore1207 says...

whats the point of dualing a road with single track bridge causing bottleneck stupid
whats the point of dualing a road with single track bridge causing bottleneck stupid gmoore1207
  • Score: 5

12:36pm Sat 1 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

Exactly gmoore12007, and the sounds that Robin Walker makes about a new Bridge are for our ears only since he , Harriete Baldwin and Peter Luff never have, and never will, say anything in Westminster that would cause their government any discomfort or opposition.
Exactly gmoore12007, and the sounds that Robin Walker makes about a new Bridge are for our ears only since he , Harriete Baldwin and Peter Luff never have, and never will, say anything in Westminster that would cause their government any discomfort or opposition. Jabbadad
  • Score: 5

2:53pm Sat 1 Mar 14

Casmal says...

Quite, absolutely no chance now with Harriett as she has become an assistant whip or whatever!! No need to guess why she was chosen for that job!!
Quite, absolutely no chance now with Harriett as she has become an assistant whip or whatever!! No need to guess why she was chosen for that job!! Casmal
  • Score: 3

3:59pm Sat 1 Mar 14

Redhillman says...

I think it is quite clear that Worcestershire county council's highways department have no intention of completing the ring road which would result in a new bridge across the Severn.

While councillors say they'd like a new crossing etc, you never hear anything from the highways staff themselves saying that they intend to complete the ring road or seek funding for it. They are, instead, more concerned about delivering schemes that makes it hard for motorists to get in and around Worcester when you look at the schemes they have delivered over the years. It's as if they're doing this deliberately to discourage car use (which would be fine if they had a Plan B and deliver cheaper, reliable and frequent public transport). And when you look at the money they've spent on road schemes over the years which have in fact made matters worse, they'd have had enough money to complete the ring road. And concentrating on so-called improvements to the southern link road which is costing millions is a further example that completion of the ring road is simply not on their agenda and never will be. Why don't they just come out and say it, that way we can put the subject to bed rather regurgitate and revisit the topic time and time again which has little benefit as nothing will ever happen.
I think it is quite clear that Worcestershire county council's highways department have no intention of completing the ring road which would result in a new bridge across the Severn. While councillors say they'd like a new crossing etc, you never hear anything from the highways staff themselves saying that they intend to complete the ring road or seek funding for it. They are, instead, more concerned about delivering schemes that makes it hard for motorists to get in and around Worcester when you look at the schemes they have delivered over the years. It's as if they're doing this deliberately to discourage car use (which would be fine if they had a Plan B and deliver cheaper, reliable and frequent public transport). And when you look at the money they've spent on road schemes over the years which have in fact made matters worse, they'd have had enough money to complete the ring road. And concentrating on so-called improvements to the southern link road which is costing millions is a further example that completion of the ring road is simply not on their agenda and never will be. Why don't they just come out and say it, that way we can put the subject to bed rather regurgitate and revisit the topic time and time again which has little benefit as nothing will ever happen. Redhillman
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Sat 1 Mar 14

Doogie 46 says...

Everyone (including one or two councillors) know full well that the current plans for this road will not make any improvement at all to traffic flows and may indeed make it more dangerous by creating bottlenecks for people to race into. Dualling the whole stretch from Powick to Whittington (includung the bridge) might improve current levels of traffic flows but not when all the future development is completed.
The southern by-pass problem has been with us for 20 years or more - perhaps when New Labour were throwing money at everything during the years of plenty our MP could have secured some of those riches for his own constituency to aleviate this festering issue. Might have got him re-elected.
Everyone (including one or two councillors) know full well that the current plans for this road will not make any improvement at all to traffic flows and may indeed make it more dangerous by creating bottlenecks for people to race into. Dualling the whole stretch from Powick to Whittington (includung the bridge) might improve current levels of traffic flows but not when all the future development is completed. The southern by-pass problem has been with us for 20 years or more - perhaps when New Labour were throwing money at everything during the years of plenty our MP could have secured some of those riches for his own constituency to aleviate this festering issue. Might have got him re-elected. Doogie 46
  • Score: -1

6:38am Sun 2 Mar 14

worcestersfinest says...

A bridge next to carrington will have to be built eventually so why not start tomorrow? Stop sending aid money to the worlds 2nd biggest economy (China) and it's paid for, I reckon I should be prime minister, the job sounds easy :D, any voters??
A bridge next to carrington will have to be built eventually so why not start tomorrow? Stop sending aid money to the worlds 2nd biggest economy (China) and it's paid for, I reckon I should be prime minister, the job sounds easy :D, any voters?? worcestersfinest
  • Score: 1

11:55am Sun 2 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

With no disrespect if it came to putting our country first, anyone would make a better Prime Minister than David Cameron. He is, and always will be, AN OUT OF TOUCH TORY SNOB just like the ones who really run our country.

And when Cameron stands at the Dispatch Box spouting how much pension increase they are giving us, he should also say how much Pension Credit they are taking away, which will reduce my State Pension Increase to £2. 72p per week. Which will not keep up with Food Price increases some as much as 30%, and after they took £50 off our Winter Fuel allowance Gas & Electricity up 30%, Rents up again, Taking the Supporting People Funding off our vulnerable and Older People, Council Tax increases (which even as a full funder, I support). If he needs to see who is conning the people he and all the Tories should just look in the mirror. Perhaps that is where the name really belongs CON servatives.
With no disrespect if it came to putting our country first, anyone would make a better Prime Minister than David Cameron. He is, and always will be, AN OUT OF TOUCH TORY SNOB just like the ones who really run our country. And when Cameron stands at the Dispatch Box spouting how much pension increase they are giving us, he should also say how much Pension Credit they are taking away, which will reduce my State Pension Increase to £2. 72p per week. Which will not keep up with Food Price increases some as much as 30%, and after they took £50 off our Winter Fuel allowance Gas & Electricity up 30%, Rents up again, Taking the Supporting People Funding off our vulnerable and Older People, Council Tax increases (which even as a full funder, I support). If he needs to see who is conning the people he and all the Tories should just look in the mirror. Perhaps that is where the name really belongs CON servatives. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

1:22pm Sun 2 Mar 14

Essinay says...

If you travel around the country you can see that MOTIVATED authorites are getting small link roads built and additional railway stations added to existing lines.We get nothing in Worcs because nobody in the right position cares enough to get anything done, Transport planning at County Hall is a waste of time. Look at the fiasco over the Norton Parkway, where they messed up the application: Derbyshire got it right and got a new station in Ilkeston. Our incompetent County Council, and our MPs, have already decided that we won't win transport developments, so they won't bother trying, So, who is going to push the plate up for the area? Answer nobody and that is why we get nothing.
One further thought. With two thirds of the traffic at Powick roundabout going to/coming from Malvern direction it would make more sense to build a direct link from a new junction on the M5 into Malvern than spend the mega-bucks needed to upgrade the southern link. Derbyshire managed it on the M1 and created a new junction 29A so why can't we get a M5 juction 7A built?
If you travel around the country you can see that MOTIVATED authorites are getting small link roads built and additional railway stations added to existing lines.We get nothing in Worcs because nobody in the right position cares enough to get anything done, Transport planning at County Hall is a waste of time. Look at the fiasco over the Norton Parkway, where they messed up the application: Derbyshire got it right and got a new station in Ilkeston. Our incompetent County Council, and our MPs, have already decided that we won't win transport developments, so they won't bother trying, So, who is going to push the plate up for the area? Answer nobody and that is why we get nothing. One further thought. With two thirds of the traffic at Powick roundabout going to/coming from Malvern direction it would make more sense to build a direct link from a new junction on the M5 into Malvern than spend the mega-bucks needed to upgrade the southern link. Derbyshire managed it on the M1 and created a new junction 29A so why can't we get a M5 juction 7A built? Essinay
  • Score: 2

5:16pm Sun 2 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

Well said essinay.
Well said essinay. Jabbadad
  • Score: -1

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