October 2019: News from your local MP
AS a long-time campaigner for the M4 Link, I organised with my fellow South Gloucestershire MPs to lobby the new Transport Secretary to support the need for the new M4 junction 18a at Emersons Green.
Working with my neighbouring MP colleagues and West of England Mayor Tim Bowles, I met with the new Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP and Roads Minister Baroness Vere to lobby for funding to progress the next stage of technical work for the new motorway junction. We received encouraging feedback from them on the benefits of the scheme and how the next stage of technical work can be progressed.
This work would follow on from the initial government funding I helped secure for a feasibility study, which eventually recommended the ‘western option’ for the new junction, next to the Bristol and Bath Science Park. I had campaigned hard against the so-called ‘eastern option’, which would have carved through our local Green Belt countryside.
The feasibility study also indicated various benefits of the new £428 million junction, such as:
• Relieving congestion on M4 J19 and M32, J1 and on the A4174 corridor
• Improving safety by reducing queuing on the M4 at junction 19, resulting in less collisions
• Unlocking the economic potential in the local area by providing good direct access between the M4 and Science Park/Emersons Green Enterprise Area
• Potential to facilitate 5,700 new jobs.
• Improving network resilience and journey time reliability particularly for M4, M32 and A4174 ring road around Hambrook;
• New and improved walking and cycling routes as part of the improvements where possible
Along with so many local residents, I was pleased to see that South Gloucestershire Council’s negotiations with First Bus has resulted in the 48 and 49 bus services being extended to Lyde Green and the Science Park – another new way for people to get around our local area.
I will continue to campaign for the investment needed across the range of transport modes to keep our area moving and boost our local economy.