The county’s new £71 million relief road will bring “huge benefits” to the region, it has been claimed, after the government confirmed funding for the project.

Shrewsbury’s North West Relief Road will go ahead after the Department for Transport confirmed it will provide £54m towards the scheme.

And Shropshire Councillors and MPs say it will benefit the whole county, with less congestion and better air quality.

The seven-mile road will span between the Battlefield Link Road and the Oxon Link Road – and will provide a new, single-carriageway route taking traffic out of the town centre.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The North West Relief Road is just what Shrewsbury needs to reduce congestion in and around the town.

“We are investing £54 million in this exciting new scheme, helping drivers get from A to B more quickly, while improving air quality for residents.”

The scheme will also include two new bridges, and accessible crossings allowing cyclists, pedestrians and vulnerable users to travel safely.

Councillor Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, added: “This announcement is brilliant news and means that our thorough and detailed business case for a Shrewsbury North West Relief Road has been recognised and supported by the government.

“Today’s announcement really is the culmination of many years’ hard work by a great number of people and it’s been a real team effort between council officers, councillors, MPs, our engineering consultants and many more.

“The North West Relief Road will benefit not just Shrewsbury but the whole of Shropshire and, though there is some way to go before the road is built and in use, securing this funding from the government is a huge step towards making this much-needed road a reality.”

Councillor Nick Bardsley, member for Ruyton and Baschurch, said it will have untold benefits to those in his ward.

He said: “I am over the moon to hear this confirmation and it will being untold benefits to the people of Baschurch, Ruyton and Montford Bridge.

“I do not blame the drivers because they have no other option, but the relief road will take so much traffic away from our villages, meaning quicker journey times and safer roads from residents.

“This is almost two years to the day that I sat in Shirehall and urged everyone to re-double their efforts in making this dream a reality and today it has come true.

“The people of Baschurch and Ruyton will be delighted with this news, as am I.”

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski said he was “delighted” and paid tribute to North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson and Ludlow MP Philip Dunne who he said had worked hard with him to secure the funding.

He added: “I am very grateful to Steve Davenport the transport portfolio holder at Shropshire Council who has worked so hard to help secure our North West Relief Road.

“I would like to thank him publicly for his professionalism and dedication as part of our team which secured £54 million.”

A shared footpath and cycleway will be built on the southern part of the road, bordered on both sides by open space.

Work on the scheme is likely to start in 2022.

The road is scheduled to be completed within five years. Before then, there will be a refresh of the evidence base and a full planning application will be submitted by Shropshire Council, at which time further detailed information will be available to the public on the proposals, and the opportunity for the public and stakeholders to comment further.