“Melton will suffocate without a ring road - we’ve just got to get on and build it as quickly as possible.”
That was the stark warning of Melton MP Sir Alan Duncan today as he threw his support behind the latest plans to build a bypass around the town.
Mr Duncan has written to the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) urging it to contribute £600,000 towards the £1.5m needed to set up a Melton Mowbray transport strategy - the next process in the bid to build the long-awaited ring road.
The rest of the cash is already in place thanks to pledges of £500,000 from County Hall and £400,000 from Melton Council, which decided to make the contribution at a meeting last night.
Mr Duncan said: “I’ve just been to a meeting at the county council and they will be working very hard with Melton Council to move this forward.
“The first stage will be to assess and design the bypass and the first focus will be on the western half but I would like a full ring road to be built eventually.
“I look forward to helping the councils secure a further lump of funding for this project.”
On Friday morning, Mr Duncan met members of Melton Council and Leicestershire County Council, which have both asked the LLEP to make up the shortfall in the cost of setting up the transport strategy, which will set the ball rolling on a bypass scheme.
Melton councillors saw a report at a meeting on Thursday night from consultants Jacobs which confirmed the only realistic solution to Melton’s traffic problems was an outer relief road.
Jacobs’ report suggested an 8.7km-long road starting from the A606/Sawgate Road junction, south of the town, and running westwards via Kirby Lane towards the A607 Leicester Road where it bisects the Chetwode House complex.
It would then run north-west along the Welby Road and Welby Lane alignment until it reaches the A6006. A north easterly route would then be followed towards the A606 Nottingham Road and Scalford Road.