'Strong case' for M4 J18a

January 25 2019
'Strong case' for M4 J18a

MOTORISTS will have to wait until the end of the year to hear whether a new junction for the M4 will finally be built near Downend.

Campaigners have been pushing for a new link to connect the motorway to the Avon Ring Road at Emersons Green for more than 20 years.

South Gloucestershire Council formally backed a link at Westerleigh Road – known as the “western option” last year, after people living near Pucklechurch protested against alternative routes which would carve through green belt land near their homes.

If the scheme gets the go-ahead the new Junction 18a would cost around £428million and be built by 2025.

But a council spokesman said an announcement was now expected in “late 2019”.

That means it is likely residents will have to wait until the government’s next budget for a decision.

The council’s cabinet member for highways Colin Hunt has said the authority had made a strong case for Junction 18a and it is now being considered by Highways England in its next “route investment strategy”, which covers 2020 to 2025.

The spokesman added: “When undertaking the study work, it was estimated that construction may take place between 2025 and 2026, although this would be subject to confirmation by Highways England and the DfT during further scheme development work.”

It has been claimed that the junction would help 5,700 jobs and generate £449m for the economy.