Kier Highways has been awarded £460m contract by National Highways to design and deliver an upgrade to the A417 between Gloucester and Swindon. The contract award follows a competitive procurement process through National Highways’ Regional Delivery Partnership framework.

The A417/A419 provides an important route between Gloucester and Swindon, connecting the North and Midlands to the South of England as an alternative to the M5/M4 route via Bristol.   

The Missing Link itself is a three-mile stretch of single-lane carriageway on the A417 between the Brockworth bypass and Cowley roundabout in Gloucestershire. The project will see Kier and its team, Volker Fitzpatrick, Arup, Tony Gee and RPS design and construct 3.4 miles of new dual carriageway.

Delivering and supporting critical road infrastructure is at the heart of the Kier Highways’ purpose. Kier has been working with National Highways to fully scope the project during the early part of 2022.

The Planning Inspectorate is currently examining the Development Consent Order (DCO) application, which is needed for all Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) prior to construction starting. Following its conclusion on 16 May, the Planning Inspectorate will recommend a decision to the Secretary of State for Transport in the Summer. A decision on the route is expected by the Secretary of State in November 2022.

Paul Baker, Kier Highways project director, said: “Delivering highways infrastructure is vital to the UK is Kier Highways’ purpose and we are proud to be doing this through the delivery of the A417 contract. We look forward to working with National Highways and our supply chain partners to deliver this critical infrastructure project to improve the connectivity of the strategic road network.

“We are a national business with a local and regional focus and, throughout the duration of the project, we will support the local community through employment opportunities and social value initiatives that leave a positive legacy.”

Michael Goddard, Project Director for the A417, said: “We are delighted to be working with Kier to move forward this vital scheme.

“Kier has an extensive track record working with National Highways and delivering large-scale infrastructure projects, so we are confident they will deliver a scheme that meets our landscape-led vision. We will work together to deliver a project that is sympathetic with the special character of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and will support economic growth, improve traffic flows at peak times and make the road safer.”