Bristol Emersons Green M4 junction campaign gets boost

Westerleigh Road, over the M4 Image copyright Google
Image caption Westerleigh Road goes over the M4 and the only way to get to the M4 from Emersons Green is via the M32

A campaign to get a new motorway junction at the M4 in north Bristol has secured funding to explore the idea.

South Gloucestershire Council is spending £80,000 on a feasibility study for the junction off Westerleigh Road near Emersons Green.

Conservative councillor James Hunt said: "It would decrease the traffic along the ring road which, especially at rush hour, is at crippling levels."

Conservatives at the council have lobbied for the junction for 15 years.

'Highly condensed'

Campaigners say the ring road between Emersons Green and the M32 gets congested by traffic heading to the M4.

If a motorway junction was created at Westerleigh Road it would offer direct access to the M4 and speed up the traffic, supporters of the plan say.

Mr Hunt has said this short journey of about two miles (3.2km) can take up to an hour at peak times.

"Emersons Green is a highly condensed area with business and houses and we're expecting that to grow in the next few years.

"We need some investment in infrastructure to take all of the extra traffic, a lot of people will know the ring road in that area is really very, very busy in the mornings and it can take an awfully long time to reach the M4," added Mr Hunt.

The council rejected a new junction in 2000 in favour of improving public transport and cycling routes.

Liberal Democrat councillor Pat Hockey, who is her party's lead member on the planning and transport committee, said: "If the feasibility says it won't work and the Highways Agency puts up its hands in horror and says we can't cope with any more traffic on the motorway, then we'll have to take notice."

The feasibility study is expected to take a year to complete.

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