Banwell bypass finally gets green light as council receives £97m in Government funding

Village sign on Knightcott Road, Banwell.

Village sign on Knightcott Road, Banwell. - Credit: Archant

Almost £100million in funding has been awarded to North Somerset Council to build a long-awaited Banwell bypass, and a secondary school.

West Street in Banwell.

West Street in Banwell. - Credit: Archant

The council's Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) bid for £97million was approved today (Wednesday), meaning the village's decades-long congestion woes could be brought to an end.

The funding package includes close to £50million for the bypass, plus around £30million to create 900 secondary school places at Locking Parklands.

Cash is also available to improve other roads and paths in and around Banwell, which is used to access many areas in North Somerset but has a series of bottlenecks which cause slow-moving queues.

North Somerset, which lodged the bid in 2018, hopes the project will be completed by 2024 and its leaders believe the bypass will have a 'hugely positive impact' on employment and the local economy.

The authority believes the bypass and school will provide 'critical transport and education infrastructure' and unlock sites for development to meet North Somerset's shortage of housing.

Detailed plans will be drawn up in the coming months, and the council aims to conduct a public consultation in 2020.

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Cllr James Tonkin, executive member for infrastructure, said: "This major Government investment in North Somerset is great news for our area.

"We want to make sure our children and grandchildren are able to stay living locally in the coming decades and this money, which will allow housing development sites to be unlocked, will help us make sure we have enough local homes for local people in the future.

Cllr James Tonkin. Picture: NSC

Cllr James Tonkin. Picture: NSC - Credit: Archant

"But we cannot build these houses without the supporting infrastructure in place to create thriving communities. This investment in education and our roads is critical.

"It will also bring the much-needed bypass around the village of Banwell, improving the vital link between North Somerset and Bristol, which will have a hugely positive impact on residents' access to jobs, and the economy.

"We have already been working with communities in and around the Weston villages and Banwell to develop these proposals. We will continue to consult as plans are developed."