Council's cash boost to make major upgrades to 'unreliable' A38 links to Bristol Airport, M5 and city centre
PUBLISHED: 08:00 14 October 2019
An 'unreliable' road which connects North Somerset to Bristol and the M5 appears set to receive major upgrades.
North Somerset Council, jointly with Somerset County Council, has been awarded funding by the Government's Department for Transport (DfT) to design upgrades to the A38 - one of the district's busiest roads.
The authorities have received £260,000 from the DfT's Major Road Network programme to develop a business case for the improvements.
The project aims to increase the road's capacity, improve journey times and relieve pressure on other roads, with the A38 used as a diversion for the M5.
Construction could begin in 2021 if more Government funding is secured.
North Somerset's executive member for highways, James Tonkin, said: "The funding announcement from the DfT is great news for the council, our residents and businesses.
"Those who regularly travel along the A38 will know how unreliable it can be for journey times.
"This Government funding will allow us to develop our plans, in consultation with our businesses and communities, to find the best possible solutions to improve this road.
"That our bid was one of only 18 announced across the country with this wave of funding is a testament to the strength of the case we have put forward and how vital improvements are needed."
The councils want to improve access to Bristol Airport, which has major expansion plans in the offing, with hopes of creating more reliable bus services too.
Simon Earles, the airport's planning and sustainability director, welcomed the news.
He said: "The Government's support of the proposals to improve the existing A38 is great news for our staff and our passengers.
"As the South West's gateway to the world we want to make international connections more easily accessible to people and businesses across our region, so we are fully supportive of plans to improve reliability and journey times to and from the airport."
The councils expect to take 10 months refining its business case, ahead of launching a public consultation on their proposals.