Green light for £1.25m project to ease traffic jams at M5 junction 21

Junction 21 of the M5 motorway at Weston.

Junction 21 of the M5 motorway at Weston. - Credit: Archant

More than £1million’s worth of improvements will be made to junction 21 to enhance access for commuters and ease congestion.

Last week North Somerset Council's executive member for highways, Elfan Ap Rees, before his election defeat, approved a scheme to make the northbound on-slip wider to enable more cars to merge onto the motorway.

Officers argued congestion at peak times was making the town a 'less desirable place to live and work' with traffic often causing gridlock in Queensway and Worle.

The scheme will cost £1.23million - with funding coming from three separate sources.

Speaking about the decision, Cllr Ap Rees said: "I have given the go ahead for the M5 junction 21 on-slip merge congestion relief scheme.

"This is really good news for commuters going northbound in the morning and for visitors leaving the town after spending the day on the seafront."

The scheme will change the existing single traffic lane into twin lanes for the entire length of the sliproad.

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This will increase vehicular capacity onto junction 21 of the M5 and help to reduce congestion on the approaches to the motorway in nearby St Georges and Worle.

The scheme will be carried out by Highways England at the same time as other maintenance works planned - offering 'significant cost savings'.

Funding will come from three sources - £675,000 from the growth and housing fund, £450,000 from the Revolving Infrastructure Fund (RIF) and £112,000 of section 106 contributions.

The growth and housing fund is managed by Highways England to address pinch points on the motorway network and unlock house building and job creation.

Section 106 funding has been secured from the Weston Villages to mitigate the impacts of development at junction 21, however, with current building rates it is not expected to become available until around 2025.

Officers were awarded £450,000 after a successful bid to RIF which is designed to pay for projects ahead of section 106 money.

The need for the scheme to mitigate the impacts of developments in Weston was identified in the early 2000s, along with other measures such as the improvements implemented in 2014.