Junction project nears end

PROLONGED hold-ups at the Portishead motorway junction should soon be a thing of the past, according to council leaders.

The final phase of a �3.5million project to improve the M5 junction 19 is nearing an end, with tests now being carried out to ensure new traffic lights are timed to improve traffic flow.

They are expected to be fully functional within two weeks and initial tests already show an improvement.

North Somerset Council has worked with the Highways Agency to implement the scheme, which has been carried out in three phases.

The first saw enhancements made to the traffic lights, barriers and road surface on the roundabout and the second phase included widening the northbound slip road going on to the motorway.

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The final phase has seen two new sets of traffic lights installed at the two A369 approaches to junction 19 and the road widened to create additional short approach lanes at both the A369 entries to the roundabout and an additional exit lane merge to Portishead.

A high-occupancy vehicle / bus lane has also been created in Martcombe Road and traffic lights have been installed at the A369 junction with St George’s Hill and Portbury High Street. This is part of the Greater Bristol Bus Network (GBBN) local transport scheme, which aims to improve transport corridors and reduce congestion in the Bristol and North Somerset area.

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North Somerset Council’s executive member for highways, Elfan Ap Rees said: “This ‘Mova’ system enables the traffic lights to sense approaching traffic and queuing, to efficiently programme light changes to clear traffic flows quickly and easily.

“Traffic flows have already improved at junction 19… and by the time all the improvements are complete the misery of prolonged hold-ups for motorists in this area should be a thing of the past.”

* Have you seen an improvement? Tell us what you think about the scheme by commenting below.

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