M5 work to start in bid to solve Portishead congestion

CONGESTION at junction 19 of the M5 will be ‘a thing of the past’ soon as the final phase of the �3.5million road maintenance scheme begins tomorrow (Wed).

Two new sets of traffic lights will be installed on both A369 approaches – from Portbury and Portishead – to help traffic flow on the motorway roundabout.

The carriageways’ entrances will be widened and an additional exit lane for Portishead created as part of the work.

Once completed a bus lane will be created on Martcombe Road and traffic lights installed at its junction with St George’s Hill.

The majority of the work will take place at night between 8pm-6am to keep disruption to a minimum.

North Somerset Council’s deputy leader and executive member for highways, Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, said the final �1.5m phase had been designed to try and prevent long queues.

He said: “The reason we have programmed the final phase of the works now was to avoid working at junction 19 over the peak holiday period, when the traffic flows at times reach saturation point.”

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Two earlier phases have seen an extra lane for northbound entry slip road created and general improvement of the drainage system and crash barriers.

Cllr Ap Rees said these previous changes had already made a noticeable difference.

He said: “Traffic flows have already improved as a result of the work carried out 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.”

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