Roundabouts could replace traffic lights at busy junctions in Worle
PUBLISHED: 07:22 20 June 2017
A multi-million pound scheme could see roundabouts replace traffic lights at one of the busiest junctions in Worle, the Mercury can reveal.
Changes are planned at the Queensway junctions to reduce and stop traffic jams during the morning and evening rush-hours.
North Somerset Council believes removing lights and installing two roundabouts instead near North Somerset Courthouse would rectify problems, and will ask the Department for Transport (DfT) for funding towards the work.
Elfan Ap Rees, executive member for transport, said the changes in Worle will benefit people living there.
The deputy leader said: “We have been talking about it for a long time.
“The justification for the DfT is two-fold; it’s congestion firstly as traffic tails back to junction 21 in the afternoon peak and so it’s impeding traffic coming to Weston. It’s also suppressing building of new housing and jobs growth.
“But there’s also a benefit in the morning. The main benefit for residents of Worle will be reduced traffic heading towards junction 21.”
The council wants two roundabouts at the courthouse junctions and to change the roundabout near Sainsbury’s to create better cycle and pedestrian links to Priory School.
The estimated cost of the Queensway work is £2.25million and the council’s executive will vote today (Tuesday) whether to ask the DfT for £1.51million.
It is also keen on obtaining £3million from the DfT to put towards its proposed £4.5million regeneration of Weston town centre. That work includes improving links between the station and the seafront, as previously reported by the Mercury.
Preliminary talks with the DfT have been promising, according to Cllr Ap Rees.
He said: “From our point of view we are particularly interested in job creation but the Government is fixated on housing. This plan ticks both boxes.”
Cllr Ap Rees said the Worle project ties in with Highways England’s ambition to create a second M5 feeder lane for northbound traffic.
He said that scheme would likely start in early 2018 with the Queensway changes following later in the year, if the DfT grants funding.
The executive will meet at 2.30pm at Weston Town Hall.
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