Plans for £1m road scheme for Portishead approved

Plans to relieve congestion and reduce journey times for traffic travelling into Portishead moved a step closer yesterday (5 December) when North Somerset Council’s Executive approved in principle a £1m road improvement scheme in the town.

Earlier this year, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced a national congestion relief programme. In the South West, £2.8m was allocated to the improvements around junction 19 of the M5 for Portishead.

Since the funding announcement, council engineers have been working with Highways England to investigate options for relieving congestion for traffic heading into Portishead during the evening rush hour.

Alongside improvements to be carried out at junction 19 by Highways England, changes are also planned for the A369 Wyndham Way leading into Portishead.

The proposed scheme would see Wyndham Way widened between the Sheepway and ‘sail’ roundabouts to create a second lane for traffic heading into the town, increasing the capacity for Portishead-bound traffic. The outbound road leaving the town would remain as a single carriageway.

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, deputy leader and executive member with responsibility for highways, said: “We’ve been working with Highways England to examine how congestion in the area during evening rush hour could be alleviated. As well as the obvious frustrations and delays this congestion causes to motorists, it also poses a road safety issue as stationary traffic stacks up on the southbound M5.

“Our investigations have shown that congestion on the motorway is partly due to limited capacity on the A369 Wyndham Way. Together we’ve identified improvements which will reduce congestion, cut journey times into Portishead and improve safety on the motorway.”

Highways England will be responsible for carrying out works to junction 19 while North Somerset Council will be responsible for the improvements on Wyndham Way.

The cost of the proposed Wyndham Way scheme is an estimated £1m which will come from the congestion relief programme funding.

Following approval from the Executive, engineers are now working on finalising the design for the scheme.