MP Chris unveils report on M4 junction

Published on: 09 Oct 2015

CHRIS SKIDMORE

KINGSWOOD MP Chris Skidmore has unveiled a report that makes the business and social case for Government investment in a new M4 junction at Emersons Green.
The report has been written by the University of Bath for the Gateway2Growth campaign group and highlights six key economic benefits of an additional motorway link.
Mr Skidmore, one of the leaders of the campaign, and Transport Minister Andrew Jones released the study at the House of Commons.
It says that a link road beween junctions 18 and 19 of the M4 would:
• Reduce congestion costs and current transport related constraints upon businesses at Emersons Green.
• Attract new business investment and highly skilled employment to the Emersons Green Enterprise Area, particularly in high technology industries.
• Enhance the potential for the Bristol & Bath Science Park to become a regional hub for science, research and innovation.
• Improve the flexibility and participation of the labour market due to easier commuting.
• Improving the work-life balance of commuters and local residents by reducing journey times in and out of Bristol.
• Significantly reduce the impact of traffic on inappropriate alternative routes currently being used.
The initiative has cross party backing, support from regional businesses and has already been debated in parliament and highlighted during Prime Minister’s questions earlier this year.
Hundreds of people have also signed a petition calling for investment in a new junction for the area.
Mr Skidmore said:  “The University of Bath’s report sets out a clear and pressing need for investment in a new junction, on a number of fronts. It is a significant step in the Gateway2Growth campaign, which is building momentum with a clear consensus on the business and social benefits for the region, commuters and businesses.
The report was written by Dr Phil Tomlinson, Associate Professor in Business Economics in the School of Management at the University of Bath and researcher Marc Betton, who interviewed several key stakeholders from local businesses and local government as part of the research into the need for the junction.
Dr Tomlinson said: “Emersons Green is an area with significant growth ambitions, with thousands of jobs projected and new homes being built. But some businesses we spoke to said they would consider moving from the area without this investment and the ability to attract new companies could be constrained without it.
“The proposal promises to reduce congestion, realise the potential of Bristol and Bath Science Park and the Enterprise Area and enhance the development and vitality of the high-tech cluster on this site.”
The Emersons Green Enterprise Area has been identified as a key area for economic growth over the next 12 years with up to 7,000 jobs predicted to be created.

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