Business leaders in the South West have welcomed a multi-million pound road improvement which will create thousands of jobs, reduce congestion and boost the regional economy.
A new junction Highways England is creating on the M49 will improve road access and provide a much-needed connection into the Avonmouth and Severnside Enterprise Area from the motorway network.
The junction, which comprises two bridges, will also promote economic growth in this area of Bristol, and reduce the numbers of HGVs and other vehicles on the local road network.
At a groundbreaking ceremony, key regional business leaders joined Highways England, the company responsible for the country’s motorways and major A roads, and local authorities to welcome the £49 million scheme, which calculations are forecasted to help create 14,000 jobs in the area.
Nick Aldworth, Highways England’s South West Regional Delivery Director said: “We’re delighted to be breaking ground on this strategically and economically important scheme for the South West and Bristol area. Every £1 invested in this scheme will bring more than £30 into the local economy, generating more than 14,000 jobs in the long term.”
Highways England is working with partners, including South Gloucestershire Council, Bristol City Council and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, on the scheme which involves using the existing bridge at Farm Lane with a second bridge being built immediately next to it.
Located to the south of the Western Approach Distribution Park and west of the village of Easter Compton, the two bridges will be incorporated into a single roundabout spanning the motorway with new access and exit slip roads connecting fully with both northbound and southbound traffic.
The scheme has also been welcomed by joint venture partners Robert Hitchins Ltd and Harrow Estates plc, who own the neighbouring 300-acre Westgate employment site.
Simon Tothill, Property and Development Director for Robert Hitchins, said: “We have worked closely with Highways England for the last three years to enable the opening up of this area and are delighted to see progress being made.
“This project is all about the creation of jobs and economic growth. We have absolutely no doubt that it will be a huge boost to the region, deliver significant new investment into the area and unlock the large and incredibly well-located Westgate site, which already benefits from planning permission for employment uses.”