Weston-super-Mare and M5 junction 21 plans approved

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A £15m scheme to improve traffic flow around Weston-super-Mare and junction 21 of the M5 in Somerset will go ahead.

North Somerset Council's application for the Weston Package was approved by the Department of Transport (DfT).

Local Transport Minister Norman Baker said it was "a great scheme that will support employment, reduce congestion and make it easier for people using public transport".

The scheme received approval for £10.4m of DfT funding last year.

The next stage is for a contractor to be appointed.

'Long hours'

The improvements at junction 21 will include widening the M5 southbound sliproad and A370 approaches, an extra lane on the roundabout, and new computer-controlled traffic lights to improve access to and from the M5 and A370.

The council will make further improvements alongside the DfT work, from its own budget, creating a dedicated lane on the A370 outbound approach to the motorway roundabout that goes straight on to the M5 northbound sliproad.

The Weston-super-Mare improvements include: a new car park and bus interchange at Worle Station; new bus links from Queensway to the station; and making Marchfields Way into a dual carriageway between the Winterstoke and Drove Road roundabouts.

Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, executive member for highways and transport, said: "Behind the scenes, highways officers have been working really hard on the detailed planning of this package and I am very grateful for the long hours put in over recent months to ensure the scheme fully meets the DfT criteria and local expectations.

"I am now looking forward to seeing the first spade going into the ground as soon as possible."

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