A JUNCTION on the M49 that cost £50million is still two years away from opening, five years after it was built, claims metro mayor Dan Norris.

Mr Norris said a mistake between officials at South Gloucestershire Council and National Highways has left the dead-end motorway roundabout near Avonmouth, completed in 2019, unconnected to the local road network.

Mr Norris also said £1million in funding that was allocated last February by the West of England Combined Authority (Weca), to try to resolve a land dispute that has left the link road unfinished, was done so “incorrectly” by his predecessor, Tim Bowles.

The West of England mayor said: “It was the previous mayor who said he would make £1million available but it wasn’t in his powers, to be honest, so that was incorrect.

“Basically this was something that happened before the West of England Combined Authority was created.

“As far as I can see, and I’ve checked with my officers and with the local authorities concerned, the entire sorting of this is down to South Gloucestershire Council and National Highways to get on with it.

“Plus, of course, there is that issue of that piece of land, about who owns it and how it should be used, and that is in a legal dispute. That’s where we are.”

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said: “We are working with the Department for Transport and National Highways to deliver the M49 link road and unlock the significant benefits that it will bring to South Gloucestershire, local communities and the wider region.

“The link road is needed to connect the new motorway junction at the Western Approach Distribution Park.

“The public benefits of delivering such a connection are significant and include: realising the economic potential of Severnside and the wider Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area; relieving congestion on the local highway network; improving road safety; and ensuring the investment already made by National Highways building the new M49 Junction is realised.

“In order to build the link, we need to obtain privately owned land and are currently working on this while progressing with the design of the new road.   

“We are not able to confirm a programme of work at present, as the scheme is technically complex and the best engineering solutions need to be determined.