The Old A40 connects Cheltenham to Northleach and the Fosseway and has been temporarily closed since the autumn 2015. The reason for the road closure was damage caused to the Prison corpse wall. Gloucestershire Highways (GH) have recently communicated that the road has zero chance of ever being fully reopened. And have put forward a solution that partially re-opens the road with single lane traffic both ways with restricted use to cars only. The Highways proposal and other information can be found at this link (https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/roads-parking-and-rights-of-way/major-projects/prison-copse-wall-northleach-also-known-as-the-old-a40). The cost of the works amounts to £55k. GH (working with a local county councillor, Paul Hodgkinson) have secured £35k to date. And GH have declared that they will match any funding contributed by local parishes and the community. Following a generous private donation the remaining funds to raise are £5k.
Local Parishes response
So far the community local parishes (including Northleach Town Council) have been reluctant to come forward with any match funding. A second Northleach Town Council meeting was held on the matter on September 19th where considerable hostility towards the idea was witnessed.
Community needs to act now
GH proposal and associated funds to partially re-open the road are time limited and if not taken up soon will be redirected onto other projects and lost forever. If this eventuality occurs, GH communicated at the most recent Northleach town council meeting, the road is likely to then be permanently closed. Subject to a consultation period. The stretch of road most affected would be the bottom end and the bit closest to the west end of Northleach. If this scenario occurred this stretch of road would become a wasteland with legal jurisdiction defaulting to multiple parties and no single entity responsible.
Donate now as small as £10 to re-open and save this road
The benefits to the community of the road re-opening are as follows:
- Reduction in severe road congestion due to the re-direction of traffic
- Avoidance of potential road accidents due to poor visibility turning out onto the Fosseway and other access points due to the redirection of traffic
- Reduction in travel time from Cirencester, Northleach to Cheltenham and visa versa
- Opening of Health & wellness destination on the Old A40 that will bring circa 40 jobs to the community and tremendous social & economic benefit in excess of £500k per annum
The negative impact to the community if the road is permanently closed or stays as it is are as follows:
- The stretch of road will become a fly tipping target. This has already been witnessed. And increasing.
- The stretch of road will become inhabited. Occupation of the road has already materialised with 4 permanent settlers to date. Once word spreads this is likely to increase.
- The stretch of road shall become a waste land used by joy riders and potentially other crime related activities
The consequences of the aforementioned aspects may have a detrimental impact on the community with a drop in tourism, increase in crime, drop in property valuations and poorer trading conditions for local businesses.
Donate £10+ or more to maintain the beauty and attractiveness of our community and avoid the potential negative impact of the road permanently closing: