M5 to airport road will be 'visual scar'

PUBLISHED: 05:12 20 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:37 24 May 2010

CAMPAIGNERS have warned proposals to build a new road through the heart of North Somerset will do irreparable damage to the countryside. Members of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) say plans to build a road from junction 21 of the M5 in Weston

CAMPAIGNERS have warned proposals to build a new road through the heart of North Somerset will do irreparable damage to the countryside.Members of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) say plans to build a road from junction 21 of the M5 in Weston to Bristol International Airport would have massive consequences for the villages and environment in between.The idea for the new road was revealed in the Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study. The study recommends to North Somerset Council where new roads should be built to solve traffic jams in the district.North Somerset CPRE chairman Georgie Bigg said: "This scheme would involve building on very low-lying land, including flood plain."The necessary raising of the road would lead to greater noise pollution and a significant visual scar across the landscape."Transport experts at consultants Atkins carried out the study and have also proposed building a road from Clevedon to the A370.Mrs Bigg added: "Even the study itself reports that if these roads go ahead, there would be 'potentially large adverse impact on landscape, together with adverse impacts on Sites of Special Scientific Interest'."If we continue to build in the countryside we will change the face of North Somerset forever."These roads would cost an enormous amount of money which could be far more imaginatively and effectively used in improving public transport and the management of traffic on roads."Atkins' experts say building the road would be massively influential to solving North Somerset's traffic woes. They say the road would be vital to carry more holidaymakers from the M5 when the airport expands over the next 25 years.It is also hoped the road will act as a bypass for villages such as Churchill, Banwell and Sandford which suffer from motorists using the roads as a cut-through to the airport and Bristol.

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