A civic leader has said he is hopeful people will support calls for a relief road in Wem.

Councillor Edward Towers, Mayor of Wem, said the overall benefits to the town – including easing congestion – outweigh the negatives.

His comments come as a meeting between the town council, Shropshire Council and North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson is expected to take place in the coming weeks.

Cllr Towers said: “Yes there will be people it will effect in a negative way but in the overall scheme of things it is these sort of initiatives that Wem has been waiting for for years and we have the vast majority of support of the town.”

Cllr Towers said the relief road would ease congestion which has caused issues in the town, including reported damage to historic buildings.

Earlier this year, the town council wrote to Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP, with their proposal, which was discussed with Mr Paterson during a meeting last month.

Mr Paterson has now been working on a meeting involving Shropshire Council and if a consensus is given then they can return to Mr Grayling with a proposal.

Cllr Towers added: “It will unlock a door that will help with businesses, the economy, infrastructure and houses.”

Councillor Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s member for highways, said: “We are engaged with a private residents group, the Wem Economic Forum and the town council in finding a way forward.”