Artist’s impression of Hinkley Point
A trio of projects that will affect North Somerset have all seen significant movement this week.
North Somerset Council’s application for the Weston Package was given the final go ahead by Local Transport Minister Norman Baker.
A licence has also been granted to build the Hinkley Point nuclear station, ensuring the project is on-course to go ahead.
Regarding Hinkley Point, government still needs to give the final g0-ahead before it can be built and a decision is expected before the end of the year.
It has also been revealed that work will now begin on the former Weston Airfield site to build extensive office-space and a new office for the North Somerset Enterprise Agency.
On the Weston Package go-ahead Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, executive member with responsibility for highways and transport, comments: “To get this green light is a really good early Christmas present for Weston and North Somerset residents.
“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”.
On this website John Penrose MP released this statement: “This latest announcement is more of a symbolic hurdle, and confirms what we knew already, but even so I’m absolutely delighted it’s done.
“The work should start next spring and, as far as I and every other Westonian is concerned, it can’t happen soon enough.
“It’s taken many years of patient work by a whole team of people, including myself and the Council, to get this far and, given the general shortage of Government cash, it’s quite a victory. Everyone wants the nightmarishly long rush-hour queues to finally be a thing of the past!”
The Weston Package improvements at junction 21 will include widening the M5 southbound sliproad and A370 approaches, an additional lane on the roundabout and new computer-controlled traffic lights to improve access to and from the M5 motorway and the A370.
The work to increase capacity at junction 21 is one of five schemes that make up the Weston Package. The other four schemes are:
• dualling of Marchfields Way between the Winterstoke and Drove Road roundabouts, to allow two-way traffic and provide extra walkways and cycle routes, as well as a new bus lane in Winterstoke Road West
• new car park and bus interchange at Worle Station plus improved cycle and motorcycle facilities
• new bus links from Queensway to Worle Station
• bus priority along Elmham Way, linking the new housing areas
For more information about the Weston Package and to receive regular updates on progress, visit www.n-somerset.gov.uk/westonpackage