Council gearing up for £220m junction 10 upgrade
Demonstrating the county council’s ambition for the future of the county, it will, subject to cabinet approval, increase its highways budget by £220million in the next step to prepare for delivery of a new J10 on the M5.
In March this year the council submitted a multi-million pound bid to Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) and the result is expected later this year.
The council needs to hit the ground running with this project, as to meet the funding conditions, and with a challenging delivery programme, the council must be ready to move quickly should the funding bid prove successful.
The funding would provide a new all-movements junction giving access from the motorway both northbound and southbound into Cheltenham. This would support areas identified for housing north and west of Cheltenham by district councils, as well as employment land to boost economic growth and provide more jobs. A new junction would also help improve the local road network for the benefit of the entire county.
The new junction would mean that those travelling south from north west Cheltenham would be able to join the motorway without travelling across the town to junction 11; reducing congestion, and improving journey times. The town’s environment would also receive a boost as traffic would be reduced on unsuitable urban roads.
To deliver this hugely significant £220million scheme, a dedicated project management team that works solely on the project will be needed. The staff costs for the new project team would be included as part of the £220million bid.
If the HIF bid is successful, a public consultation will commence in Spring 2020 with an exact location for the new motorway junction being announced in Summer 2020. The upgraded junction is anticipated to be open in Spring 2024.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “The upgrade to junction 10 would be the largest and most ambitious road infrastructure project the county council has ever taken on, so having a dedicated project team to deliver the scheme is vital for its success.
“The new junction and link road would support growth plans throughout the county, as well as solve long standing traffic and travel issues. Allowing traffic to join and exit in both directions will make life easier for road users, local people and businesses. With cabinet approval, we will be another step closer in making the upgraded junction a reality to keep Gloucestershire moving.”
Should the funding be secured, the county council will run a competitive procurement process to secure all necessary contracts to build the new junction. Further information is available at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/j10.