SOUTH Gloucestershire Council unanimously voted to back Lyde Green as their ‘preferred’ location for a new M4 junction.

At yesterday’s cabinet meeting, members chose between two main options: one via Lyde Green (the western option) and the other near the village of Pucklechurch (the eastern option).

After the publication two weeks ago of a paper outlining the results of a junction feasibility study, South Gloucestershire Council had called on its cabinet members to vote in favour of the Lyde Green option.

The cabinet’s recommendation will now be submitted to Highways England who will decide whether to support it. It is estimated that a final decision will not be made until 2022.

A number of speakers commented that up to a four year wait for the decision would be a cause of stress to residents and businesses in the Pucklechurch area, and that it would be preferrable for the eastern option to be taken off the table altogether.

This was reiterated by South Gloucestershire Labour group leader and councillor for Kingswood, Pat Rooney, who said: “I urge my Conservative colleagues to kill off the eastern option.”

This comment was met with cries of ‘hear, hear’ from the public.

Cabinet member for transport Cllr Colin Hunt said that he would like the wording changed in the recommendation to be sent to Highways England.

“At the moment, it states that the western location is the ‘preferred’ option. I would like it to read that the western location is the ‘recommended’ option.

“We want to make it clear to those further down the line that this council is one hundred per cent behind that recommendation.”

Cllr Hunt’s alteration was agreed and will be going forward to Highways England.

Speaking about the cabinet’s decision, Pucklechurch resident Rick Dunning said: “I’m afraid I will remain sceptical until 2022, when the decision is actually made.

“Personally I think that there is always a danger that the feasibility study has proven the need for a junction, and if for some reason they can’t build the western one, they’ll point to the eastern option.

“But I was pleased when they changed the wording from the ‘preferred’ to the ‘recommended’ option. I think that actually carries some weight.

“Preferred is a little woolly.”

Mr Dunning is a Pucklechurch parish councillor, but the views he expressed here are his own.