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M5 Junction 9 and A46 (Ashchurch) Transport Scheme

The M5 junction 9 and A46 (Ashchurch) Transport Scheme is a proposal to upgrade the M5 junction 9 near Tewkesbury and re-route the section of the A46 which currently passes through Ashchurch to the east of the M5 (between M5 junction 9 and Teddington Hands roundabout).  

Options are currently being considered for a new dual carriageway between the M5 near Tewkesbury and Teddington Hands roundabout, allowing the current A46 through Ashchurch to be downgraded to cater for local traffic movements between Tewkesbury market town and the suburb of Ashchurch.

The A46 provides a strategic link between the South West and the Midlands, offering an important alternative to the A42/M42 for traffic travelling between the M1 and the M5. However, the section of the A46 through Ashchurch is currently acting as a key constraint on the route, with drivers experiencing significant delays.

The aim of the scheme is to improve north-south connectivity for long distance traffic and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) travelling between the South-West and the Midlands, critical for supporting future economic growth in the region. The scheme will help solve long standing traffic issues at this key location on the A46 corridor, including improving journey times and reliability for journeys between the M5 junction 9 and Teddington Hands roundabout, and addressing mainline queueing on the approaches to M5 junction 9 at peak periods due to congestion, which is currently a safety concern.

The scheme will also support sustainable local growth plans in Gloucestershire. The scheme is being developed with a view to supporting the delivery of the Tewkesbury Garden Town at Ashchurch, a mixed-use development which will bring forward up to 10,195 homes and 120 hectares of employment land at Ashchurch by 2041 and beyond.

In January 2020, the Council applied to the Department for Transport (DfT) for Large Local Majors (LLM) funding to finance the proposed M5 junction 9 and A46 (Ashchurch) transport scheme. As part of the next stage of our application to the LLM fund, we will be submitting an Outline Business Case (OBC) to the DfT in early 2022. Any updates on the outcome of our application will be provided here.

As this proposal is in the early stages of development, the exact location of the new road and details of the junction upgrade are yet be decided and work is currently being carried out to identify the most suitable option.

We are committed to working with all landowners that may be affected and the public, who will get the opportunity to comment on the proposals at our planned public consultation in early 2021.

All updates, including plans and timescales for scheme development and public consultation, will be provided here or through our Twitter and Facebook accounts. A set of FAQs can also be found on this page.

You can email us at M5Junction9@atkinsglobal.com if you have any questions about the proposed transport scheme.

Further information about the A46 Partnership is available at: www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/joint-ventures/a46-partnership.

Further information about the Tewkesbury Garden Town is available at: www.tewkesburygardentown.co.uk/home.

Further information on the Joint Core Strategy, which is being delivered by Gloucester City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council as the relevant planning authorities, is available via the JCS website; www.jointcorestrategy.org.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

The M5 junction 9 and A46 (Ashchurch) Transport Scheme is a proposal to upgrade the M5 junction 9 near Tewkesbury and re-route the section of the A46 which currently passes through Ashchurch to the east of the M5 (between M5 junction 9 and Teddington Hands roundabout). 

Options are currently being considered for a new dual carriageway between the M5 near Tewkesbury and Teddington Hands roundabout, allowing the current A46 through Ashchurch to be downgraded to cater for local traffic movements between Tewkesbury market town and the suburb of Ashchurch.

The A46 provides a strategic link between the South West and the Midlands, offering an important alternative to the A42/M42 for traffic travelling between the M1 and the M5. However, the section of the A46 through Ashchurch is currently acting as a key constraint on the route, with drivers experiencing significant delays.

The aim of the scheme is to improve north-south connectivity for long distance traffic and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) travelling between the South-West and the Midlands, critical for supporting future economic growth in the region. The scheme will help solve long standing traffic issues at this key location on the A46 corridor, including improving journey times and reliability for journeys between the M5 junction 9 and Teddington Hands roundabout, and addressing mainline queueing on the approaches to M5 junction 9 at peak periods due to congestion, which is currently a safety concern.

The scheme will also support sustainable local growth plans in Gloucestershire. The scheme is being developed with a view to supporting the delivery of the Tewkesbury Garden Town at Ashchurch, a mixed-use development which will bring forward up to 10,195 homes and 120 hectares of employment land at Ashchurch by 2041 and beyond.

More widely, the scheme will help enable growth outlined in the Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy (JCS) in order to meet Gloucestershire’s rapidly growing housing and employment needs.

The scheme will allow for the downgrading of the existing A46 through Ashchurch, helping to deliver an improved street environment, and supporting sustainable travel. This will benefit both existing residents and the new community at the Tewkesbury Garden Town.

Further details on the Tewkesbury Garden Town are available at www.tewkesburygardentown.co.uk/home. Further information on the Joint Core Strategy, which is being delivered by Gloucester City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council as the relevant planning authorities, is available via the JCS website www.jointcorestrategy.org.

As this proposal is in the early stages of development, the exact location of the new road and details of the junction upgrade are yet be decided and work is currently being carried out to identify the most suitable option.

In January 2020, Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) applied to the Department for Transport (DfT) for Large Local Majors (LLM) funding to finance the proposed M5 junction 9 and A46 (Ashchurch) transport scheme. As stipulated in the requirements for LLM funding, 15% of the scheme cost will be met through local or third-party contributions.

If the LLM funding was not available, GCC would seek support from Highways England’s Road Investment Programme (RIP) and Homes England, as well as other alternative funding.

GCC has applied to DfT specifically for funding for this scheme as an exceptionally large local highway authority transport scheme that cannot be funded through normal routes. If successful, the funding is in addition to the highway budgets that GCC spend on routine maintenance of county roads.

The need for the scheme has been tested through the adopted Gloucestershire Local Transport Plan which identified the scheme as a strategic transport priority. A number of promotional events also took place with local businesses and residents in 2017.

However, since these consultations the scheme has been developed in much greater detail. Public consultation on the updated proposals for the scheme is expected to commence in early 2021. This consultation, along with ongoing engagement with stakeholders, will shape the preferred scheme design.

Information about this will be available on our website in due course and will be updated regularly. You can also register your interest to receive updates about the scheme by emailing M5Junction9@atkinsglobal.com

GCC have committed to developing a scheme which will not have a significant negative affect (after mitigation) on the Council’s wider objectives relating to safety, security and health, equality of opportunity, and quality of life, including the environment. The scheme will allow for the downgrading of the existing A46 through Ashchurch, helping to deliver a streetscape scene supporting sustainable travel. This will benefit both existing residents and the new community at the Tewkesbury Garden Town.

Environmental surveys and assessments are also being undertaken to ensure that the scheme will have a minimal impact on the surrounding area, environment and its wildlife.

A range of surveys are required on the land within the vicinity of M5 junction 9 and the A46 to ensure that any improvements would have a minimal impact to the surrounding area, environment and its wildlife. People who will be impacted by these surveys will be contacted beforehand to obtain permission to undertake the surveys. GCC will use the results of the surveys to help us understand the potential impacts of the scheme on the surrounding environment and inform the design of the scheme.

Early-stage indicative traffic modelling undertaken for the scheme indicates a potential decrease in traffic flow on the M5 to the north and immediately south of junction 9 due to traffic re-routing onto the new road, reducing journey times and congestion. Further detailed traffic modelling is currently being undertaken to fully understand the impact.

The scheme will help support delivery of the Tewkesbury Garden Town development. This is a proposed mixed-use development which will bring forward up to 10,195 dwellings and 120 hectares of employment land at Ashchurch, east of the M5. More information about the development can be found at www.tewkesburygardentown.co.uk/home.

The scheme is important to delivery of the Garden Town as it will help provide extra capacity on the road network, without which the Garden Town development as a whole is not deliverable. It will also allow for the downgrading of the existing A46 through Ashchurch, helping to deliver a streetscape scene which will be central to the new community.

Delivery of the Garden Town will help meet the future housing requirements for Tewkesbury beyond the adopted JCS. Without the scheme, the short, medium, and long-term delivery of homes will be severely constrained due to limited capacity on the existing network. The local planning authorities are in close engagement with GCC and are key partners in the development of this scheme.

DfT is expected to make a final decision on whether to grant the funding for the scheme following the submission of a Full Business Case in mid-2024. If successful, construction on the scheme is expected to take place in 2024-25, with the scheme opening to the public in late 2025.

 

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