A SHROPSHIRE councillor believes the first ‘spade in the ground’ for the Mile End roundabout could be in November this year.

Councillor Steve Davenport, who represents the St Martins ward, updated Oswestry town councillors of various highway issues affecting the county.

He told members at the remote hearing that he is looking at help for ways on how pedestrians will be able to cross the redeveloped road safely.

“I think there will be a spade in the ground in November,” he said. “The biggest problem has been Highways England.

“Highways England wanted £1 million pounds for us to update their highway, which is bonkers.

“We went back to high levels of Parliament for that.

“I am negotiating with our officers that the crossing is friendly to cyclists and pedestrians but I want to get that in place.

“If you can give your power to my elbow, I would appreciate it.”

Cllr Davenport also confirmed that Shropshire Council is bidding for a number of grants, and what work was carried out during lockdown.

“We assure you that Shropshire Council is bidding for every government grant coming our way, around rural transport and electric buses.

“There’s money for cycle lanes and £500 million for active travel. How that is divided up is dependent on what we get but the major towns in the county will get their fare share.

“We have 1,800 cycle lanes in the county but we want to add to this to the towns.

“One thing about Covid is that it gave highways space to work, and they have worked every day, covering more in that period than in the last five years.

“We’re starting to bring drainage teams back in house and there were 7,000 pieces of patches laid. We didn’t have to put traffic lights down – we were able to do more.

“We have 250km of resurfacing too, including Mile End to Morrisons in September.”