Opposition grows after surprise second option for new M4 junction revealed

July 31 2017

A campaign is under way after it was revealed a possible new M4 junction might be built near Westerleigh instead of at Emersons Green.

A campaign is under way after it was revealed a possible new M4 junction might be built near Westerleigh instead of at Emersons Green.

The proposal emerged from a £500,000 feasibility study into creating a junction 18A between Tormarton and the M32. 

It would mean building a link road from a junction on the B4465 Westerleigh Road to the A4174 ring road at Siston, skirting Pucklechurch and cutting it off from neighbouring Parkfield. 

 Two potential routes for this link road have been suggested, both crossing green belt land.

But South Gloucestershire Council said the study was in its very early stages. No decisions had been made, no funding agreed and there was no preferred option for the junction.

The Westerleigh/Pucklechurch idea has been called the eastern option, while the original  concept of a junction behind the science park at Emersons Green is the western option.

A provisional map released by the council shows both options as having a “potential future link to Yate” - a possible road to link up with the town’s so-called road-to-nowhere.

At an open air meeting organised by Pucklechurch Parish Council, about 300 people heard MPs Luke Hall and Chris Skidmore pledge to oppose the Westerleigh plan and press for the Emersons Green suggestion.

Mr Hall, the Thornbury and Yate MP, said the eastern option was completely untenable.

Kingswood MP Mr Skidmore, who has campaigned for a junction 18A throughout his time in Parliament, vowed to end his support unless the eastern option was dropped.

He said it had been a “complete shock” to him to discover that the feasibility study, for which he had secured Government funding, had come up  with the eastern option “out of the blue”.

Colin Hunt, South Gloucestershire Council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “We recognise that creating a new motorway junction is not something that will be popular with everyone, but there is a very real need to ease congestion in this part of South Gloucestershire and provide better access to key employment hubs and residential areas.

“The options for junction 18A are at a very early stage and the proposals will be subject to a formal consultation period.”

The official eight-week consultation starts on August 21 and exhibitions will be held in Westerleigh, Pucklechurch and Emersons Green as part of the process.