Have your say on plans for travel network ‘fit for future’

An artist's impression of what Pill station would look like once built. Picture: MetroWest.

An artist's impression of what Pill station would look like once built. Picture: MetroWest. - Credit: MetroWest

An ‘ambitious’ transport masterplan to build railway stations, roads and a motorway junction with hopes of ‘tackling congestion and supporting economic growth’ has taken a step forward.

A public consultation on the West of England Combined Authority’s (WECA) Joint Local Transport Plan (JLTP) has been launched.

The project aims to transform the region’s transport network with hopes of sparking economic growth and bolstering infrastructure to cope with increasing demand.

The JLTP forms part of the wider Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) – WECA’s scheme to tackle the region’s housing shortfall by building more than 100,000 homes before 2036, including 25,000 in North Somerset.

Places like Nailsea and Backwell are heavily targeted for housing development in the JSP, and a new spur road connecting the A370 to Clevedon via Nailsea is among the proposals.

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Long-awaited railway stations are also proposed for Pill and Portishead, which will connect to the centre of Bristol.

Junction 19 of the M5 at Portishead is earmarked for improvements, while a Junction 21A, between Weston and Banwell, is also planned.

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A stretch of the M5 between Weston and Bristol may be upgraded to a ‘smart motorway’, and improved cycle links are promised across North Somerset.

Nigel Ashton, leader of North Somerset Council, said: “The ambitions and success of this plan are vital to making sure our region’s transport infrastructure addresses existing and expected challenges, accommodates planned housing and employment growth, and improves connections for people and businesses across all transport types.”

Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “This is an ambitious plan to keep people moving and tackle congestion, while supporting economic growth.

“It considers a wide range of options to support sustainable travel including rail, bus, cycling, walking, mass and rapid transit and electric vehicles.”

To take part, log on to www.travelwest.info/jltp by March 20.

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