The completion of the M49 link road near Severn Beach is long overdue. For commuters, the ongoing closure is adding an unnecessary delay onto journey times, and patience is understandably, wearing thin. Residents have been putting up with HGVs and high volumes of traffic through Severn Beach and Pilning long enough.
The government put £7m forward to complete the M49 link road, and since then I’ve been clear that it’s time to get this project moving, relieve pressure on our roads and cut journey times.
Earlier this year, I wrote to South Gloucestershire Council and submitted a letter of support, asking them to get on with the project, and once and for all, complete the junction for the community.
I highlighted the key arguments for completing the junction as a priority, including relieving traffic flow through our local villages, the strong environmental need, the support from local Parish Councils, and preventing any further deterioration of road surfaces.
Whilst we must get the project moving, it’s also crucial that we protect and improve the existing infrastructure that is used so regularly by local cyclists.
I am pleased to have received assurances that the project includes improvements for cyclists and pedestrians too. Its right that the local cycling community and local businesses have had their say on this aspect on the plans, and its good news that the final design provides for an entirely segregated route away from the carriageway, linking directly into the local cycling network.
Residents throughout the nearby villages of Aust, Severn Beach and Pilning, have suffered from the delay in completing the link road, explaining that this has contributed to pollution in local neighbourhoods which are currently being used for alternative access. South Gloucestershire’s local economy received a huge boost in 2017 when the Government scrapped the Severn Bridge Tolls, and completing this motorway junction will further drive economic growth, support local business and cut journey times for commuters. Time to get it done.