£1m road scheme aims to end jams and improve safety for commuters
PUBLISHED: 12:58 09 December 2017
A major road improvement project for Portishead was approved this week – a move which transport leaders hop will relieve congestion and reduce journey times for drivers travelling into the town.
North Somerset Council’s executive approved in principle a £1million works package on December 5.
This follows an announcement earlier this year by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, which saw some £2.8million earmarked for essential improvements around junction 19 of the M5 at Portishead.
The funding allocation was part of a national congestion relief programme, and since Mr Grayling’s announcement, experts from Highways England have been working with council engineers to draw up a plan of action.
They have studied problems which arise from high volumes of traffic trying to enter the town during the evening rush hour, and have come up with a serious of measures they believe with remedy the issue.
Improvements to the junction itself will be carried out by Highways England, while the council has now supported the idea of changes to the A369 Wyndham Way Portishead approach too.
The proposals would see Wyndham Way widened between the Sheepway and ‘sail’ roundabouts to create a second lane, increasing the capacity for Portishead-bound traffic. The outbound road leaving the town would remain as a single carriageway.
Deputy council leader Elfan Ap Rees, the executive member for highways, said: “We’ve been working with Highways England to examine how congestion in the area during evening rush hour could be alleviated.
“As well as the obvious frustrations and delays this congestion causes to motorists, it also poses a road safety issue as stationary traffic stacks up on the southbound M5.
“Our investigations have shown that congestion on the motorway is partly due to limited capacity on the A369 Wyndham Way.
“Together we’ve identified improvements which will reduce congestion, cut journey times into Portishead and improve safety on the motorway.”
Following approval from the executive, engineers are now working on finalising the design for the scheme.