New link road to be built near Bristol joining M49 'ghost' junction to local roads

The new road will cost £7 million to build with funding from the Department for Transport
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A new link road will be built “within 12 months” linking up the M49 ghost junction to local roads. Planning permission has been granted for the 160-metre road which will connect the motorway to the Avonmouth and Severnside Enterprise Area.

The new road will cost £7 million to build with funding from the Department for Transport. It will connect Junction 1 of the M49, which was built in 2020 but never joined up with the local road network, until now.

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The road will mean lorries accessing the industrial park will no longer be diverted through local villages. Councillors on South Gloucestershire Council’s strategic sites delivery committee voted to approve planning permission for the new road, after hearing criticism of the years of delays to the project.

Peter Tyzack, of Pilning and Severn Beach Parish Council, said: “Before any politician claims an achievement here, can I remind you that the parish council and the North Avon Council were pressing the government’s Department for Transport back in 1990 to build this junction at the same time as the motorway. That would have made sense, wouldn’t it?”

As part of the project, a key cycle route will be diverted. The National Cycle Route 4 currently runs over the ghost motorway junction, connecting Cribbs Causeway with Severn Beach, but this will be relocated slightly north next to the Euro Garages site.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Willmore, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and infrastructure, said: “What sort of a shambles of a government builds a motorway junction without building any connecting roads? That for me sums up what we’ve been facing for the last seven years. It’s like building a pub with no beer.

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“I came on to the council determined to sort this out. The new administration is committed to sorting this fast. Our villages need this junction. How much have businesses lost because of this mess? Our villages have paid the price for Tory delay for too long.”

Delays to building the road are thought to be some landowners holding parts of the site needed as “ransom strips”, according to previous discussions at a council meeting in February. Ongoing negotiations between the council and landowners took much longer than expected. The road will only be 7.5 metres wide, due to these issues.

Conservative Cllr Liz Brennan, shadow cabinet member for planning, regeneration and infrastructure, said: “It’s wonderful news that planning permission has been granted for the M49 link road. The new road will create direct access from the Severnside industrial area to the motorway network and help relieve congestion on local roads.

“In 2021, the previous Conservative administration stepped in to move the project forward to ensure it is delivered as quickly as possible, with funding secured from the Department for Transport to enable this to happen. We have continuously campaigned for the link road to be built and today’s decision represents a big win for residents and businesses in South Gloucestershire, and we are proud to have played a leading role."

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