Multi-million-pound funding has today (Friday) been confirmed to pay for the southern link to Melton’s approved partial bypass.
The government has agreed to award Leicestershire Council almost £15million which will help enable construction of a road between the A606 Burton Road to the A607 Leicester Road.
This will link with the £63.5million Melton Mowbray Distributor Road (MMDR) which will take traffic on a loop to the north and east of the town, connecting the A606 Nottingham Road, Scalford Road, Melton Spinney Road and the A607 Thorpe Road (A607) before re-joining the A606 Burton Road.
It is hoped that both sections will be completed at the same time with the main build now due to begin in the spring of 2021.
Byron Rhodes, deputy leader at County Hall, said: “This is excellent news and emphasises the strong track record we have in securing funding and working with partners to make sure development is planned strategically and not in a piece-meal way.
“For Melton, it is particularly momentous as it enables the final piece of the relief road to be completed.
“The future prosperity of the town and surrounding area hinges on the distributor road and I look forward to preparation work starting on the north and eastern stretches next summer.”
Borough council leader Joe Orson said: “I am delighted to hear the news that the funding for the southern section of the relief road has been approved. “We heard in May last year that the northern and eastern sections had received £50million in funding so I am glad the bid for further funding has paid off and we have the final piece in place for the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road.
“This is a key milestone for the project which will greatly improve the traffic concerns in the town as well as develop the infrastructure to support our plans for growth and development in Melton Mowbray.”
He added: “I would like to thank Sir Alan Duncan, MP for Rutland and Melton, who has fully supported the project and has been instrumental in ensuring the funding, which now totals around £65million. ”
Sir Alan Duncan, who has stood down this week as Melton MP, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the government has granted this extra money for the by-pass - something I have been lobbying ministers on for a number of months.
“This is fantastic news for the prosperity of Melton.”
The successful bid is aligned to the borough council’s Local Plan, which provides for the development of nearly 4,000 new homes, including the proposed 1500-home Melton South Sustainable Neighbourhood.
Construction on the north and east scheme is set to start in summer 2020 with preliminary works, which include carrying out surveys and detailed site investigations and clearances.
Now the money has been secured, there will be further engagement and consultation as the scheme is developed.
As part of work towards the Melton Mowbray Transport Strategy, a broader package of measures are also being developed which complement the relief road, including possible improvements to public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure and the town centre highway network.
It is planned to produce a draft strategy for consultation.
In May 2018, the government announced that it would fund £49.5million to deliver the north and east sections of the MMDR from the Department for Transport’s Large Local Major Schemes Fund, with the remaining scheme costs being funded by developers.
Melton Borough Council has been working closely with the county council to secure the necessary infrastructure investment required to support the growth planned through the Strategic Growth Plan and Melton Local Plan.
In 2016, it contributed £400,000 to support the business case for the distributor road which helped secure the near £50million for the northern and eastern sections.