A MAJOR study of the A46 will be carried out to examine whether the route around Evesham could be converted into a dual carriageway to tackle the town’s crippling congestion.
Midland Connect, which brings together councils and local enterprise partnerships, has commissioned the report which could take up to two years.
The study was announced in the lobbying body’s ‘Powering the Midlands Engine’ report and is one of Midland Connects’ early priorities.
As part of the work, the study will examine whether the arterial route around the town which links the M5 and M40 could become a dual carriageway.
Midlands Connect claim doing so would tackle the ‘significant transport challenges’ faced by residents and will help boost the region’s economy.
While the study is in its early stages, the group vowed to use the results to lobby the Government for funding to make the improvements the study identifies.
Simon Statham, Head of Technical Programmes, said: “We are working in partnership with the relevant County and District local authorities along the entire route, including Worcestershire County Council and Wychavon District Council, as well as Highways England and the Department for Transport.
“The focus of this study is to understand the role and function of the A46 along its entire length and to what extent it can help boost economic growth in the Midlands.
“This will include research into the section around Evesham where we will seek to understand whether investment is needed in the road so that it does what it needs to and supports local and regional growth.
“No works or specific schemes have been identified at this time and the outcomes of the study cannot yet be determined.
“Should the study identify a case for investing in the section around Evesham, then Midlands Connect will be using this work to lobby for funding to enable schemes to come forward as quickly as possible.”
The news of the study has been welcomed by VECTA, a group of businesses from Evesham, who regularly lobby the council on issues hindering the town.
VECTA chair Deborah Rolls told the Observer: “It is fantastic that the A46 and road system around Evesham is being looked into.
“Better traffic links and less congestion in and around Evesham will only make it even more attractive to businesses looking to move into an up and coming area.
“VECTA will look forward to seeing what transpires both with this survey and the recommendations that come.”