Banwell bypass route chosen
- Credit: North Somerset Council.
The preferred route for the long-awaited Banwell Bypass is set to be confirmed next week.
The middle of three options passing north of the village – backed by 46 per cent of people – could impact on bats, a traditional orchard and Banwell Football Club pitches, but North Somerset Council said these issues could be reduced or avoided through careful design.
It said the northernmost route would have crossed a floodplain and had the biggest carbon footprint, while the most southerly route would have passed closest to Banwell village and had the greatest impact on noise and pollution in residential areas.
The preferred route is currently only indicative and is yet to be 'refined and optimised'.
The authority hopes it can acquire the land it needs through negotiation and agreement but may have to use its compulsory purchase powers.
The bypass will unlock land for future development, enabling new and affordable homes to be delivered.
It will be funded with £97million from Government that will also pay for thousands of new homes and the expansion of the Winterstoke Hundred Academy in Locking Parklands.
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More than £66million of the total grant is allocated to Banwell Bypass and improvement works.
The decision to approve the preferred route is set to be signed off by Cllr Steve Bridger, the executive member for assets and capital delivery.
Cllr Bridger said: “This is a crucial step towards making Banwell bypass a reality, alleviating traffic congestion that has affected the village for generations.
“I’d like to thank the 1,135 people who responded to our consultation. Your feedback is vital in helping us understand what matters most to your community, especially at this early stage before we start to draw up the bypass’ design.
“By telling us what you think now, we can develop designs with your ideas and priorities in mind, thinking about the mitigations and additional features that could help to reduce impacts of the road and create opportunities for further enhancements to your area.
“I look forward to continuing work with our communities as we enter this next phase of the scheme.”
The council aims to be carbon neutral by 2030 but the decision notice says the new road will increase emissions by eight per cent between 2026 and 2038.
It says: “The design of the bypass will minimise climate change and environmental implications of the bypass, including encouraging active travel, minimising carbon in construction and appropriate speed limits.”
The full consultation report and Options Appraisal Report outlining the technical review into the route are available to read online.
The recommendation to take forward route two is subject to agreement. The final decision on the bypass route can be actioned from Monday.