THE increasing pressure on Stratford’s transport infrastructure was the main focus of a meeting between MP Nadhim Zahawi and local businesses.
Twenty businesses attended the final meeting of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce South Warwickshire branch of 2017 before Christmas to hear an outline of the planned projects which will impact on the town and the south Warwickshire area.
Schemes including the Birmingham Road improvement, the South-Western Relief Road, the Eastern Relief Road and improvements to the A46 were all discussed at the session at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford.
Peter Burns, a past president of the Chamber, who chaired the meeting, said: “The next few years are going to be vital for the future of Stratford’s transport infrastructure.
“There are a series of planned developments, such as Long Marston, which are going to put an already creaking system under further pressure.
“That pressure was put into perspective at the meeting when Warwickshire County Council reported that Clopton Bridge, which is a Grade I-Listed structure that can trace its roots back to the 15th century, sees 900 heavy goods vehicles go over it every 12 hours.
“All local business people know that if there is a single glitch in the network, then the town can grind to a halt, so it is vital that any significant developments that are brought forward have transport at the front and centre stage of planning.
“At the same time, it is key that any major schemes bear the needs of business in mind, as long-term projects can cause major disruption which can in turn have a series knock-on effect to local companies.
“The county council attended the meeting along with Nadhim, and we certainly emphasised the need to consult with business and to ensure there is proper communication before and during any improvement works.”
The Chamber’s south Warwickshire branch committee meets every quarter to examine issues affecting businesses in Stratford, Alcester and Shipston.