Roads minister Jesse Norman has approved almost £55m for a new dual carriageway connecting the M5 to the west of Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
The Southern Link Road is designed to provide 'a congestion-busting bypass to Worcester city centre, halve peak journey times along the A4440 and pave the way for up to 5,600 new homes', the Department for Transport (DfT) said.
Worcestershire County Council is contributing £7.5m to the £62m scheme, with the remaining cash coming from the Large Local Majors Fund. In future this fund will be aimed exclusively at road schemes costing more than £50m, and it has been rolled up into the £3.5bn Major Road Network cash from 2020.
The dual carriageway will run alongside the existing Carrington Bridge and open up access to the M5, boosting growth potential in areas like Great Malvern, officials said.
It will also improve access to Birmingham International Airport and Worcestershire Parkway Station.
Mr Norman said: 'This new road will help improve everyday journeys in and around Worcester, easing traffic for local people in Worcestershire and Herefordshire, as well as supporting thousands of new homes and jobs.'
The bypass will see the construction of two new bridges and new cycle and pedestrian routes, as well as junction improvements.
Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for economy and infrastructure, Cllr Ken Pollock, said: 'This is great news for Worcestershire! We welcome this announcement of funding approval which paves the way for the final phase of the scheme to fully dual the Southern Link Road from the M5 to the Powick Roundabout.
'Works on this important and much-needed final phase will see Carrington Bridge extended and 1.5km of viaduct being built between the Ketch and Powick roundabouts. We look forward to sharing further details about this final phase, which also includes an improved Ketch Viewpoint and underpass in addition to a footbridge over Hams Way in the next couple of weeks.'