The M5 in Somerset will benefit from a share of £200m upgrades planned over the next few months.
Highways England, which is responsible for maintaining the country’s motorways and major A-roads, has announced a number of major projects as part of the government’s commitment to “level up” the south west.
More than 100 schemes will be implemented across the south west, on top of the dualling scheme on the A303 between Podimore and Sparkford which will get under way in the next few weeks.
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In Somerset, the M5 between Taunton and Bridgwater will see considerable investment to improve journey times and reduce congestion.
The Somerset improvements will focus on the stretch between Junctions 23 (Bridgwater North) and 25 (Taunton), with the carriageway being enhanced in both directions.
The improvements will include new message signs, incident detection and signalling upgrades, enhanced CCTV coverage and others changes to allow drivers to better manage their speed.
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The scheme will be funded through the government’s road investment strategy (RIS).
Baroness Vere of Norbiton, the government’s roads minister, said: “This government is committed to levelling-up transport right across the country, helping people get to work or education, and to see family and friends.
“This multi-million-pound investment is a real reflection of that commitment. It will ensure road-users right across the south west enjoy safer, quicker journeys, and that the local economy can build back better from the pandemic.”
M5 at Bridgwater
The M5 improvements will cost around £20m and will be completed by October, shortly after the completion of Somerset County Council’s scheme to upgrade Junction 25.
Other improvements being undertaken across the south west include:
- M5 junction 11 (Golden Valley) – bridge refurbishment and resurfacing
- M4 junction 15 (Swindon) – an additional lane to create improved access to housing and jobs
- A38 Mowhay Bridge – widening the footpath for cyclists and pedestrians
- A40 in Gloucestershire – upgrading six miles of cycleway
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Highways England regional director Andrew Page-Dove said: “Hundreds of thousands of drivers use our roads every day for work journeys, home deliveries and the movement of the goods and services, so it’s essential we keep them in a good condition to ensure safety and reliability.
“With this investment, we will continue to deliver the essential maintenance and upgrades throughout the region to improve safety and help keep drivers on the move.”