PLANS announced by the Government to put up more cash for infrastructure projects have boosted the chances of Worcester’s Carrington Bridge being dualled, according to the city council’s leader.
Work is still ongoing on the Southern Link Road which is being dualled from the Whittington to the Ketch roundabouts, but there is a danger the project could come to a halt in 2018 if funding for it is not found.
Last month the Observer reported how county council leader Adrian Hardman and Mark Stansfield, chairman of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, had written the business case for the dualling project which was sent to the Government, detailing how the improvements would speed up journey times by up to 50 per cent at peak times.
That reduction in congestion, they said, would significantly benefit business in the county.
And Coun Simon Geraghty told the Observer the latest proposals by Chancellor George Osborne to make billions of pounds of extra funding available for road improvement projects meant council chiefs could be closer to getting their hands on £70million for the much-needed project.
He said Worcestershire County Council would also be putting in a fresh bid for cash.
“The Chancellor did say in the spending review that he was allocating some new money for highways.
“So there’s Local Growth Funding that goes through the Local Enterprise Partnership and there’s also a fund that’s been created, I think its £475million for large highway schemes – that’s the pot of money we’d like to bid into, those two pots of money for the Carrington Bridge.
“I think the chance of being able to secure more money for the Carrington Bridge is more likely after the Chancellor’s spending announcements than before, because he had prioritised major infrastructure.
“The overall pot for major infrastructure is going up by 50 per cent – from £40billion to £60billion over the lifetime of this Parliament.
“That has got to be good news for Worcester and Worcestershire.
“We’ll be lobbying even harder over the next few years to try and get the funding secured.”