Today (04 August 2023), I had the opportunity to meet with the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency Philip Duffy, in a bid to drive the North West Relief Road infrastructure project forward.
Also in attendance was Shropshire Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, Councillor Dan Morris. At the beginning of the meeting we both made our frustrations clear to Mr Duffy about the repeated delays caused by the Environment Agency's concerns over the project and emphasized the need to construct the North West Relief Road by citing the environmental and economic benefits.
Mr Duffy responded by explaining that the Environment Agency's remaining concerns over the Environmental Impact Assessment needed to be addressed and also stressed that the Environment Agency was not anti-road or anti-cars.
Mr Duffy concluded the meeting by saying that he would discuss the outstanding issues with his local team and committed to a timeline of four weeks for him to get back to me. He informed me that he would like to personally visit Shrewsbury before the end of the year and was keen to have a roundtable discussion with local representatives and other key stakeholders.
I will continue discussions with Mr Duffy and the local team to help bring about a resolution.