MPs: We only support Western Option for M4 link

March 03 2018

A CRUCIAL decision on a possible new junction on the M4 and a link road to the A4174 ring road is due this month.

iu

A CRUCIAL decision on a possible new junction on the M4 and a link road to the A4174 ring road is due this month.

The £500,000 feasibility study into plans for a junction 18a commissioned by South Gloucestershire Council and Highways England was due to be made public on March 2, and going to the council's cabinet on March 12.

The council will havec to decide whether there is a case to be put to the Government for the project, which is set to cost between £250m and £470m, depending on the route chosen.

Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore, who won the funding for the study after years of campaigning, and Thornbury and Yate MP Luke Hall, support the idea because they say it will reduce congestion and help businesses in Bristol's north-east fringe but they remain of the view that the junction should be at Emersons Green.

There was outrage last year when the first phase of the study suggested a junction and link road at Pucklechurch instead -the so-called Eastern Option. 

The two MPs met Highways England last month to push the case for the Western Option. They handed over a letter in which they criticised the “cloud of uncertainty” that the Eastern Option proposals had caused for residents.

“We are particularly concerned about the considerable amount of Greenbelt land which would be lost if the Eastern Option is carried forward. This factor, alongside the destruction of the other valuable open spaces not classified as Greenbelt in the Pucklechurch area, would have a drastic impact on our communities and the residents who live in them,” they said.

“A number of residents also raised concerns with us on the levels of increased traffic on the adjoining road network which would surround the Eastern Option link road, including areas of Siston, Warmley, Mangotsfield and others. The increased number of cars on roads such as Siston Lane would be detrimental to the area and pose a significant safety risk. We feel that the Western Option would alleviate the risk while simultaneously reducing traffic on the northern section of the A4174, which often becomes an issue.

“An M4 Link next to the A4174 where the two roads virtually touch would help alleviate current congestion and increase productivity for businesses in the West. We do therefore believe that a new junction for the M4 is needed but will only support the proposals if the flawed Eastern Option is abandoned. 

"It is clear to us by the levels of correspondence we have received that the community are not behind this option and nor are we.”