Much needed improvements to the A5 moved a step closer this week after Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, met local MPs and senior council officials on Friday (20 July).
The meeting at MIRA Technology Park was arranged by Marcus Jones, MP for Nuneaton and Bedworth, supported by local MPs David Tredinnick (Bosworth), Alberto Costa (South Leicestershire) and Craig Tracey (North Warwickshire). Also present was Bill Cullen, Chief Executive of Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council and Mark Ryder, Assistant Director of Transport at Warwickshire County Council, on behalf of the A5 Partnership.
Mr Grayling listened to key local concerns over the A5 as well as the work undertaken by the A5 Partnership in producing a strategy for its improvement. Discussion included the need for investment in priority sections of the road between the M42 and M69 and from the A5 to M6 via the A426.
Craig Tracey MP said, “The A5 clearly poses a number of challenges, with works needed to improve the situation not just now, but also ensure it is fit for the future”.
“I am pleased that the Government are taking this issue seriously and the A5 Partnership gives our region a strong united voice. There is an excellent business case to support our proposals and the meeting with the Secretary of State is another positive step in the right direction to enable us to deliver this for local people.”
Bill Cullen said, “Chris Grayling was very sympathetic to our needs and was impressed by the work of the Partnership. We highlighted the significant role that the A5 plays in the local economy and the fact it acts as a key route of resilience in the event of issues on the M6 or M1.”
Marcus Jones MP said, “I am delighted that the Secretary of State came to see for himself the problems that local residents and businesses face on a daily basis. I am encouraged that, during our discussion, he accepted the need for significant investment and urged the A5 Partnership to submit detailed proposals and bids as soon as possible. Of course, there are many hurdles to overcome but this was a very positive meeting.”
David Tredinnick MP said, “I’m pleased the Secretary of State was sympathetic to the improvement strategy developed by the A5 Partnership and I hope that real progress can now be made in delivering the improvements that will benefit local people and businesses”.
“As I have highlighted many times, the necessary improvements to this key road will also have a positive impact on the national economy and I commend the excellent work that has been undertaken by the A5 Partnership”.
Mike Hall, Leader of HBBC and Chair of the A5 Partnership said, “The main issue of the A5 is that it is currently not fit for purpose and has significant impacts on local businesses and our community, particularly at peak times and when the M6 or M1 are blocked.”
“Through the work of the A5 partnership and working with local MPs, we have now secured significant Government interest, which I hope will secure the funding needed for major improvements. This would make a massive difference to local people’s daily lives.”
“It is significant that the Secretary of State has taken time to meet with senior council officers to understand the urgency about fixing the A5”.