Local MPs Ben Howlett (Bath) and Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset) have met with Tim Warren, the Conservative Leader of B&NES, to discuss their vision for an A46/A36 link road.
The two MPs also met with cabinet members and the B&NES Group Manager for Transport & Planning Policy to discuss their vision to deliver an A36/A46 link road to put an end to Bath being “used as a roundabout”.
Bath MP, Ben Howlett, put transport at the heart of his election manifesto earlier this year, with a commitment to Stop Bath Stalling and is delighted that planning has started so quickly.
He said: “The link between the A36 and A46 is long overdue. Bath is a World Heritage City – people live here, work here and want to visit here – we have to improve our road network to reduce congestion and improve air quality.
“The process to secure investment for such a large infrastructure project is long, but we have started as quickly as possible, and I am delighted to see so much work being undertaken by B&NES Transport & Planning Policy Department to lay the foundations for this vital project.”
Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP for North East Somerset was equally enthusiastic about the plan.
He added: “A bypass for Bath would benefit the whole of Somerset. My own constituents would be able to get to the M4 without going through the centre of Bath while being able to get into the city centre more easily.
“As long as the structure is beautiful it would provide a long overdue solution to an intractable problem.”
The very productive meeting saw council leader Tim Warren also positive about the momentum behind the project.
He said: “Obviously to build this link won’t happen overnight, but we are all committed to working together to maximise B&NES chances of securing the necessary funding as quickly as is feasible.
“Further feasibility meetings are planned within the month and the public will be consulted at the earliest opportunity, but doing nothing with regards to the current transport situation is not an option.”
Optimism about the success of this project is high, partly because of the success of other south west MPs in securing the funding needed to dual the A303 and bypass our nearest World Heritage site of Stonehenge.
Ben Howlett stressed that: “Bath is of greater, national, economic importance than Stonehenge and the plans in place for the A303 show the benefits of working together to ensure a major infrastructure project comes to fruition.
“I am delighted that neighbouring authorities are broadly on side with this plan and I will do everything I can to help the project along.”