£1 million road improvement scheme aims to ease tailbacks for Portishead commuters

Article Posted on: December 7, 2017

The work is being funded as part of the Government’s national congestion relief programme.

A busy route into Portishead is to be widened at a cost of £1 million in a bid to ease congestion into the town at peak times.

The work will see the A369 Wyndham Way widened between the Sheepway and the ‘sail’ roundabout to create a second lane for traffic heading into the town.

The move will increase capacity for traffic heading into Portishead at rush hour and reduce journey times.

Large tailbacks can often build up into the town from commuters who work out of the area – including in Bristol – but live in Portishead.

The outbound road leaving the town would remain as a single carriageway.

The work is being funded as part of the Government’s national congestion relief programme.

Final designs for the scheme are currently being drawn up by council highway engineers.

A stipulation of the funding is that the money needs to be spent by March 2020. However no date for the work has yet been set.

A total of £2.8 million was awarded to carry out improvements to relieve congestion from traffic heading into Portishead during the evening rush hour.

The work to Wyndham Way is part of a wider scheme which will also see improvements to the M5 Portishead motorway junction carried out by Highways England.

A scheme is currently being drawn up to put in an additional lane on the M5 sliproad onto the junction 19 roundabout.

The work will see the number of lanes on the southbound motorway exit slip road at junction 19 increased from two to three.

The project is being drawn up to tackle the large queues that form on the inside lane of the southbound carriageway on the Avonmouth Bridge.

At peak times – such as morning and evening rush hour – queues can often stretch the length of the bridge and as far back as the Avonmouth junction.

As a result some motorists are trying to cut in from other lanes, causing accidents.

A £3.5 million scheme to improve traffic flow on the Portishead roundabout was completed three years ago, with the aim of reducing the large queues which used to regularly build up along the Portbury Hundred and Martcombe Road at rush-hour as people battled to get in and out of Portishead.

Traffic used to regularly tail back along the Portbury Hundred from the motorway junction to the Sheepway roundabout on the A369 – with people describing Portishead as the ‘country’s biggest car park.’

The scheme has seen traffic flows around the junction – and journey times for drivers – improve.

The changes have also improved the punctuality and reliability of buses along the routes, which has led to passenger numbers increasing and seen improved traffic flow in and out of Royal Portbury Dock.

North Somerset Council executive member for highways Elfan Ap Rees 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.

Source: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/local-news/multi-million-pound-road-improvement-887552

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