A417 Missing Link

31st July 2020

A series of virtual meetings have taken place between Baroness Vere, Roads Minister, Gloucestershire MPs and Highways England (HE) to discuss the A417 Missing Link project.

Good progress is being made by Highways England and their strategic stakeholders as they seek to deliver a solution to the long-standing congestion and safety problems on this important route between Cheltenham and Gloucester, Cirencester and Swindon. 

The Department for Transport (DfT) and HM Treasury (HMT) recently approved funding of £40m, which will enable HE to complete the preliminary design and the Development Consent Order planning process. It will also see HE appoint the contractor who will construct the improved road.

HE continues to work with stakeholders on their ‘landscape led highway scheme’ vision and received valuable feedback from the public consultation last Autumn. This has resulted in changes to the gradient of Crickley Hill and the proposed green bridge near Air Balloon, and improvements to the B4070 Birdlip Road and Cowley Junction. These changes will reduce the amount of excavation, improve access for all, and reduce rat running. 

HE will present these changes during a new public consultation, running from mid-October to mid-November. This latest consultation will be an opportunity to have your say on the changes and comment on anything that HE should consider as they complete their design.  

Following the consultation, HE will complete their design and plan to submit a Development Consent Order (DCO) in the first half on 2021. This planning consent process will be completed in 2022, with construction expected to start in early 2023 and the new road open for traffic in 2026. 

Gloucestershire MPs said “While we are disappointed that the scheme has slipped by a year, we hope this latest consultation will be the last and we are particularly pleased that due to the redesigned reduced gradient all the soil will now be used on site.  We will be constantly monitoring HE’s progress to ensure the scheme does not slip any further.” 



An opportunity for residents of Bledington, South Cerney, Cerney Wick, Siddington, Cirencester, Fairford, Lechlade and Moreton-in-Marsh to hear and ask questions of the continued flood resilience work taking place and to speak with officials from the County and District Councils, Parish Council, Thames Water and the Environment Agency about ongoing issues.  


 Friday 5 March 2021


Please email Bettertonj@parliament.uk if you wish to participate in the call and also include any questions or concerns you would like to have discussed.  I will then forward the Zoom invitation.

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Planning White Papers

I have submitted my responses to the two planning consultations: “Changes to the current planning system’ and “Planning for the future’.

These planning changes are one of the most significant events to affect the Cotswolds since WWII. I think that both papers contain positive proposals, in our case commitments to protect the AONB. The proposal to abolition Section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should speed up the planning process and it is important that the money is retained locally so that the infrastructure can be built at the same time as the development. 

Too often we see a development being built long before the supporting infrastructure, which I know can cause significant issues for existing residents. The proposals to simplify and speed up local plan-making and retaining neighbourhood plans where possible are welcome, in that design codes can be specified so it should be possible to protect our unique Cotswolds vernacular.   

I spoke in the planning backbench business debate on the 8 October and called for a change to the algorithm the Government uses in its planning White Paper which fails to take account of local variations and concentrates all new house building in the south-east and central south of England. 

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Meeting between Chief Constable and Gloucestershire MPs

It has been 1,317 days since the result of the Brexit Referendum, I am sure I am not the only one who feels it has been longer, but tonight at 11 pm the Withdrawal Agreement comes into force and we will be leaving the EU immediately.

31st January 2020

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