M54 to M6 Link Road

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

M54 to M6 Link Road

Received 18 May 2020
From Telford & Wrekin Council

Representation

M54-M6 Link Telford & Wrekin Council Representation Telford & Wrekin Council welcome the proposals brought forward by Highways England for a north bound connection between the M54 and the M6. Although the proposals are located outside of the Councils administrative area the works will improve access to the M54 corridor, generating significant economic benefits for Telford & Wrekin. Telford is a key destination for inward investment and economic growth in the region and a significant destination for Foreign Direct Investment into the UK. It is located approximately 14 miles from Junction 1 of the M54 and benefits from excellent access to the motorway network south bound. North bound access through Featherstone has never been a feasible or suitable long term solution and the proposals for direct access onto the M6 and M6 Toll are very welcome. The central position (nationally) that Telford occupies, in relation to road / rail networks and port infrastructure, provides an ideal location for manufacturing, logistics and export potential. The continued investment potential of Telford can only be achieved through investment in strategic infrastructure such as the M54-M6 link. This needs to be part of a comprehensive strategy to open up access to and improve the capacity of the M54 strategic growth corridor. The Council are actively promoting better connectivity to the M54 through the proposals for ‘Queens Way Link’ which would see a direct connection between the M54 and the north / south A442. This is a critical piece of infrastructure that will enable direct access to two of Telford 3 strategic employment areas. This needs to include investment in rail infrastructure such as the electrification of the Shrewsbury – Telford – Wolverhampton rail line. A balanced approach to transportation investment will open up markets and attract inward investment. It would also increase the resilience of the strategic highway and rail networks and allow freight / passenger flows to switch between road and rail. The completion of the motorway network around the West Midlands with the construction of a link between the M5 and M54 / M6 is strongly supported by the Council. This will open up the M54 corridor and Telford for inward investment and improve access to export markets via ports of Bristol and Southampton. The route will also cement Telford’s position as the central point for manufacturing investment in the UK serving the home market. There is strong demand for sites in Telford and this has been seen in the large amounts of employment land brought to the market through the ‘Telford Land Deal’. This has seen, for example, investment in supply chain for the JLR engine plant such as the £78m investment by Magna Cosma in Telford. Telford plays a key role in providing employment sites for supply chain businesses that support many of the regions tier one manufacturing companies, there is further opportunity ‘scale up’ this role with the on shoring of supply chain as part of national and regional economic recovery plans. Telford has also seen high levels of housing growth delivering around 1,300 homes in the last year and remains one of the most affordable locations with the best range of employment and leisure opportunities in the country. Improved connectivity to the national motorway network will also be a welcome boost to existing businesses in the borough especially those in the leisure and hospitality sectors such as Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Telford International Centre and Telford Shopping Centre which together generate around 12 million visitors annually. In summary the Council are very supportive of the proposals and welcome the programme which would see a completed link in place by 2024. The need for this infrastructure was formally identified in 2001, there can be no further delay in this process given the need for a robust economic recovery. The proposals will bring a short term boost to the construction industry but will act as a long term accelerator for economic growth for Telford and the wider corridor.