Have your say on plans for new M5 junction, railway upgrades and Banwell bypass

PUBLISHED: 16:00 14 February 2019

Village sign on Knightcott Road, Banwell.

Village sign on Knightcott Road, Banwell.

Archant

Plans to build a second motorway junction in Weston and a Banwell bypass have taken a step forward, as an ‘ambitious’ transport masterplan goes under the microscope.

View of Weston-super-Mare Railway Station.View of Weston-super-Mare Railway Station.

A public consultation on the West of England Combined Authority’s (WECA) Joint Local Transport Plan (JLTP) has been launched.

The project plans to transform the transport network in North Somerset, with a long-called-for Junction 21A near Weston and a Banwell bypass topping the proposals.

Council bosses hope a revamped travel network will spark economic growth and bolster infrastructure to cope with an increasing population and rising demand on roads and rails.

The JLTP forms part of the wider Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) – WECA’s scheme to tackle the region’s housing shortfall by building more than 100,000 homes before 2036, including 25,000 in North Somerset.

M5 near Clevedon. Picture: Google MapsM5 near Clevedon. Picture: Google Maps

Banwell, Churchill and Langford are among villages heavily targeted for housing development in the JSP, with thousands of homes set to be shared between them. The JLTP plots to cope with the influx of people by creating a bypass from the new motorway junction around Banwell – and its much-maligned traffic issues – which would feed into Churchill.

The M5 between Weston and Bristol may be upgraded to a ‘smart motorway’, and improved rail and cycle links are promised across North Somerset.

Cllr Nigel Ashton, leader of North Somerset Council, said: “The ambitions and success of this plan are vital to making sure our region’s transport infrastructure addresses existing and expected challenges, accommodates planned housing and employment growth, and improves connections for people and businesses across all transport types.”

Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “This is an ambitious plan to keep people moving and tackle congestion, while supporting economic growth.

“It considers a wide range of options to support sustainable travel including rail, bus, cycling, walking, mass and rapid transit and electric vehicles.

“Working together, we can ensure that transport in the West of England is fit for the future.”

The consultation closes on March 20.

To take part, log on to www.travelwest.info/jltp

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