Problem junction works set to start

WORK to improve a North Somerset motorway junction notorious for causing prolonged hold ups is set to start later this month.

North Somerset Council and the Highways Agency are set to start the second phase of their �3million works at Junction 19 of the M5 on Monday, with work set to take 17 weeks to complete.

The work will involve widening the northbound on-slip road from a single to a dual lane merge slip road, and altering the lane markings on the roundabout and on the A369.

The council is confident that these moves will help reduce the lengths of queuing motorists that build up on the Portbury Hundred and Martcombe Road, while the creation of a bus lane on the A369 is also dependent on the works.

With most of the work taking place on the land next to the slip road, the council says that disruption should be kept to a minimum, although some slip road closures will be necessary overnight, with alternative routes set to be signposted clearly.

The final phase of the project is set to see new traffic lights put up at the junction on both A369 approaches, which would also be widened to create extra third lanes.

A bus lane has also been proposed to be added to Martcombe Road, while traffic signals would be installed at the junction of the A369 with St George’s Hill and Portbury High Street.

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This final phase is expected to be completed by September.

North Somerset Council’s deputy leader and executive member for highways, Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, said: “Savings are being made for both us and the Highways Agency by doing these road works jointly, and the overall period of time to carry out the road works on site is being significantly reduced.

“Traffic flows have already improved as a result from phase one work and by the time all the improvements are in place the misery of prolonged hold ups for motorists in this area should be a thing of the past.”