Banwell traffic will soon be 'a thing of the past'

John Penrose. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

John Penrose Weston MP. - Credit: Archant

Some things come round so regularly they’re practically traditions. England batting collapses. Terrible weather on bank holidays. And frustrated comments from motorists stuck in traffic that what Banwell really needs is a Bypass.

But if you're rolling your eyes and muttering "heard it all before", this time the bypass is really happening.

The idea may have been around for decades, and I’m surprised there isn’t a permanent dent in my forehead from all the years of banging it against various different brick walls to get things moving. But this time it really, genuinely looks different.

There’s millions in Government cash to make it happen, a deadline of 2024 to get it done, and the council has appointed contractors to design and build it. 

It’s pretty complicated, but no more than any other bypass anywhere else. They’ve got to agree the exact route, buy the land and then start building.

There’ll be lots of consultation so the voices of people like you and me, who suffer in the current traffic jams, can be properly heard.

Plus there’ll have to be surveys to make sure they aren’t accidentally harming irreplaceable wildlife habitats or bits of long-buried local heritage (did you know there’s a Roman villa under a field behind one of Banwell’s pubs, for example?).

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But once all the checking and prep work is over, we ought to have a bit more tarmac and a lot less frustration and wasted time.

Plus the centre of Banwell, which I’ve always thought is rather beautiful if there weren’t quite so many cars, will go back to being a lovely, peaceful Mendip village. 

We may not be able to solve England batting collapses or awful bank holiday weather, but one of those three traditional problems ought to be a thing of the past pretty soon. At last.

John Penrose MP for Weston

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