CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new M4 junction will come one step closer to being realised at a meeting next week.

The site of junction 18A has been the cause of great contention, ever since a study by South Gloucestershire Council and Highways England, in July 2017, identified two potential locations for it.

The western option would see the junction built near Lyde Green, whereas the eastern option would be located near Pucklechurch.

The new junction would link the M4 with the A4174 Bristol Ring Road, with the aim of reducing congestion in and around the area.

Following the publication last week of a paper outlining the results of a junction feasibility study, South Gloucestershire Council is calling on its cabinet members to vote in favour of the western option, rather than the eastern option, at its next meeting on Monday, March 12.

As part of the study, a public consultation took place from August to October last year, with results showing that while 74 per cent of respondents support the idea of a new junction on the M4, 51 per cent preferred the western option at Lyde Green.

Pucklechurch was the preferred option for just 17 per cent.

The next step is then for the report, along with the cabinet’s recommendations, to be handed over to Highways England for review.
“It’s good news for the parish,” said Pucklechurch Parish Council chairman Bob Symons.

“But it’s not cut and dried that it won’t be the eastern option, although I can’t see them going against the report.”

Speaking of the upcoming decision, cabinet member for transport Cllr Colin Hunt said: “A new junction is desperately needed to take traffic off the ring road. 

“The final decision is up to Highways England, but South Gloucestershire Council can make a recommendation.

“On balance the western option creates more jobs, offers much greater economic growth, is better for the environment, will have a larger impact on congestion and is clearly the public favourite.

"These facts will be taken into account when we make our recommendation on March 12.”