DRIVERS might still be waiting for a new link road connecting to the M49 ghost junction for another three years.

Despite planning permission being granted last month for the 160-metre road, legal wrangles over land mean the project could drag on until December 2026.

After South Gloucestershire Council granted permission for the new road, the ruling Liberal Democrats announced it could be completed “within 12 months”.

But a recent cabinet report said landowners will likely object to the council attempting to force them to sell parts of land.

Compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) are needed to take control over the small area of land surrounding the road.

The cabinet agreed to changes over which parts of land will be bought, during a meeting on Monday, December 11.

According to a cabinet report, if a landowner objects to a CPO, that would trigger a public inquiry lasting over a year.

Then several months are needed to carry out the CPO, before construction would finally start between May and December 2025, again lasting another year.

If no objections to the CPO trigger a public inquiry, construction could begin next August, with the road completed in August 2025. Either way, residents living near the Avonmouth and Severnside Enterprise Area will be putting up with lorries and traffic for much longer.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Willmore, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and infrastructure, said: “Our villages need this desperately.

" I wanted to thank [project manager] Kelvin Packer for his work on trying to get this built and open as quickly as humanly possible. It’s been a thankless task at times, but he’s been just utterly resolute in driving it.”

The ghost junction was built in 2020 but has never been joined up with the local road network. This means many of the lorries driving to the enterprise area clog up nearby roads, polluting surrounding villages and causing issues with road safety.