Fears plan to reduce congestion in Portishead will not work

PUBLISHED: 07:11 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 07:32 02 January 2018

The Portbury Hundred has two lanes to start with but narrows to one. Picture: Google

The Portbury Hundred has two lanes to start with but narrows to one. Picture: Google


Plans to widen a Portishead road will not fully prevent congestion, according to one town councillor.

A £1million scheme to create a second lane on Wyndham Way approaching the Sainsbury’s roundabout was agreed in principle by North Somerset Council’s executive last month.

MORE: Council unveils plan to solve Portishead congestion.

The project – along with changes to junction 19 of the M5 – is being designed to reduce traffic delays into town, especially along the Portbury Hundred.

Paul Paton, a senior transport planner at North Somerset, told Portishead Town Council its projections show widening Wyndham Way would mean traffic jams are prevented on it and the Portbury Hundred up until at least 2026 – even with a population increase accounted for.

However, Cllr Marilyn Koops said such a scheme would not necessarily solve the main issue.

She said until the ‘pinch point’ of cars exiting the M5 roundabout on to the Portbury Hundred is fixed, congestion will remain. It has two lanes off the roundabout but narrows to a single carriageway 200 yards later.

Mr Paton said a study of the junction will be carried out to see if any improvements are possible.

Cllr David Oyns also called for better cycle routes in the area as he feels it is ‘pretty dangerous’.

Mr Paton said the council will consult the public in the spring over a final design for the road widening.

While North Somerset will be responsible for the Wyndham Way changes, Highways England is working on reducing traffic queuing southbound on the M5 trying to exit for Gordano Services, Pill, Portbury and Portishead.

Its plan includes making permanent its trial of a second lane for motorists wishing to head towards Portishead.

Speaking in December, North Somerset’s deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees 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 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.”

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