Widespread support for M5 Junction 10 upgrade
Gloucestershire County Council has released the initial findings from last year’s M5 Junction 10 options consultation which reveals strong support for the much needed improvements.
Currently the M5 Junction 10 only has slip roads to and from (north facing) the north. This puts extra pressure on already congested local roads, particularly on Junction 11, which provides access to and from Cheltenham on the A40.
The proposals are to make these slip roads go in both directions, which will see improved access to Cheltenham and the proposed new cyber park.
Following a bid to Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) in March 2019, the county council has now successfully secured £249 million for the proposed scheme.
The M5 is managed by Highways England so they are working closely with the county council to develop the proposals for the motorway junction and support the project as it moves forward.
As well as proposals to improve Junction 10, the options consultation, held in the autumn, also asked for views on plans for a new road linking Junction 10 to west Cheltenham, an upgraded A38/A4019 junction at Coombe Hill and widening of the A4019 east of the new link road towards Cheltenham.
Overall, the consultation found a high level of agreement on the need for the scheme, with more than 80% of survey respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that the scheme is necessary.
Further engineering, design and survey work is continuing and this, together with the consultation feedback, will help to shape the selection of the preferred options for the scheme elements to be taken forward.
A detailed consultation report will be published alongside the announcement of the preferred options; both are expected in mid-2021. After this, detailed proposals for the scheme will be developed.
There will then be an opportunity to give feedback on the detailed proposals in a statutory consultation expected to be towards the end of 2021. Further work will be done to confirm the scheme before applying for planning consent. It is currently anticipated that the upgraded junction will be open in 2024.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “I’d like to offer a big thank you to all those who took the time to give us their views and I’m really pleased to see such strong support for the scheme.
“This project is vital for our county to open up land for housing and jobs and to help to improve air quality in Cheltenham by reducing congestion on our local roads.”
Andrew Alcorn, Highways England Programme Leader, said: “Highways England is delighted to be working in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council on these much needed improvements that will support economic growth plans both locally and throughout Gloucestershire, as well as help to solve long standing traffic and travel issues and improve air quality.
“We welcome the findings of the consultation; getting the views of road users, the local community and businesses is crucial to designing a project that will offer the best value, provide benefits for all, while reducing the impact on the local communities and the environment.”
A summary of the M5 Junction 10 Improvements Scheme options consultation can be found here.