Proposals for an £83 million eastern relief road in Melton, to ease congestion and boost the economy by £102m per year, have been backed by Leicestershire County Council’s ruling cabinet.
Councillor Peter Osborne, cabinet member for highways, told Monday’s cabinet meeting: “We want to try to solve the transport problems within Melton and we hope this is going to be welcomed by everyone.”
Councillor Ernie White, cabinet member for health, added: “This scheme could benefit public health, as standing traffic creates more pollution.”
The proposed eastern relief road would form part of a proposed Melton Mowbray outer relief road, which would link the A606 Nottingham Road to the A607 Leicester Road.
The county council will now seek developer contributions, and support a bid to the Government’s Local Major Schemes Fund, which would have to be submitted by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership by July.
The news comes after Melton Borough Council approved plans for more than 500 houses off Leicester Road, which would contribute £4.5m to a strategic transport scheme for Melton.
County and borough council officers have worked with consultants to consider options for a relief road, after it emerged that traffic was already facing rush hour delays of up to three minutes per mile.
A report to the cabinet said that an eastern route could be more than £20 million cheaper than a longer, western route and give the best cost to benefit ratio.
A detailed route has not been identified yet but the council would consult the public and landowners, as development work progresses.
Melton Council deputy leader Pam Posnett said: “The county council has now given its support to the development of an eastern bypass. This will enable the creation of an economic corridor around the town connecting residents to high quality jobs and with improved access to retail, education and leisure facilities.
“This is an important step towards achieving the growth needed to support the town and borough’s economy in line with the council’s emerging Local Plan.”
Melton MP the Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan, who has campaigned strongly for a Melton bypass over the years, added: “At last - some really good progress! I’m delighted that Leicestershire County Council’s Cabinet have backed plans for a relief road to the east of Melton Mowbray.
“This is fantastic news for the town. Melton needs a relief road - there is no other option. I will lobby the Government strongly for funding - we have been overlooked for too long.”
The cost of the whole relief road, based on latest assessments, is estimated at £83 million.