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Highways Agency "dragging feet" on M5 junction, MP claims

By GlosEchonews  |  Posted: November 07, 2012

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HIGHWAY bosses have been accused of dragging their feet over plans for a four-way junction on the M5.

Tewkesbury MP Laurence Robertson has vowed to keep putting pressure on the Government on the issue following a meeting with transport minister Stephen Hammond today.

Businesses close to junction 10, just outside Cheltenham, have been calling for the work to enable traffic to join the motorway going south, as well as north, insisting it will increase trade and prevent many unnecessary journeys through the town.

The bid, backed by the Echo, was prompted a year ago by plans to replace the junction's 40-year-old motorway bridge – causing a year's disruption in the area.

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Mr Robertson said there had been progress made in work on repairing the bridge but said there were still concerns about how long this would take.

"Things have not moved on a lot at the moment," he said.

"Although it has not been confirmed, it looks like work on the bridge will begin in April but I am still trying to get the time it will take reduced.

"It now looks as if the junction will not be closed while the repairs take place, but will involve traffic management, which is an improvement.

"Obviously, if the work needs to be done, then it has to be done, but I am putting on pressure to get this done as quickly as possible."

He has vowed to put extra pressure on to ensure the other work would also take place.

"In terms of the four-way junction, the Highways Agency is dragging its feet on this," said Mr Robertson.

"It would make sense to get this all done at the same time."

It is thought the Highways Agency may make an announcement about the matter next month. Spokeswoman Rachel Whitelock said: "We're hoping to have some news very soon."

Last year, 1,573 people signed an online petition backing the upgrade.

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  • Matt1006  |  November 07 2012, 11:26AM

    So, they're still planning on repairing the knackered bridge? That sounds to me like they aren't going to upgrade to a full junction then - a standard-design full junction requiring 2 overbridges as part of a roundabout. And if the road over the bridge isn't going to close whilst the works are being done (as was the original plan), I'd have thought that will mean the overall works will take longer, as they'll have to be phased to keep one carriageway on the bridge open, rather than doing it all in one go which a full road closure would have allowed. Think we're going to be disappointed, and face much congestion & frustration whilst the old bridge is sorted out, ultimately with no improvements to the motorway junction or the connecting roads. Perhaps the HA will prove me wrong next month, but I won't hold my breath.

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