27 Mar Local MP Backs Plans for Vital New Motorway Junction Off M4
Kingswood MP, Chris Skidmore, will launch the Gateway2Growth campaign at Bristol and Bath Science Park today, Friday 27th March.
Gateway2Growth is an initiative designed to draw attention to the benefits of a new junction on the M4 to improve access to the Emersons Green area, north of Bristol.
The campaign makes the compelling economic case for a brand new junction off the M4 between the M32 at Hambrook and the A46 at Tomarton – Junction 18a. The new road link would provide significantly faster and improved access to Emersons Green Enterprise Area, which has been identified as a key area for economic growth over the next 12 years with up to 7,000 jobs predicted to be created. The area boasts a growing residential community and a number of prominent businesses are already based here, such as Bristol and Bath Science Park, which is a major employer in the local area, the National Composites Centre, Airbus, Sainsbury’s, Assystem, Emerald and Harlequin Business parks, Emersons Green NHS centre and a Premier Inn hotel.
The new campaign group has already received local political support and will consist of members from the local business community. On Wednesday Chris Skidmore raised the issue with Prime Minister. David Cameron has said that he would be happy for this issue to be raised with the Transport Secretary.
Chris Skidmore said: “I am delighted that the campaign for junction 18a has been launched; it is an issue that has been neglected for far too long. There has been significant economic development in this area and we need a road infrastructure to cater for this growth and the future development that is expected here. I have been leading the fight for the new 18a link since entering Westminster and the need for a new road link is more becoming pressing than ever if we are to maximise the area’s economic potential and minimise future congestion for people living and working here.”
Colin Skellett, Chair of West of England Local Enterprise Partnership said: “Business have for a long time identified congestion in the area around the Emersons Green Enterprise Area as an issue. The LEP are working with the local authorities on a joint study looking at the future transport needs across the West of England. I would expect a new M4 Junction in the area will be part of this work, as it provides opportunity to improve connectivity to one of our key growth locations.”
James Durie. Executive Director of Bristol Chamber & Initiative at Business West, said: “Getting transport infrastructure right is vitally important to the long term prosperity and health of the Bristol, Bath and West of England economy to give world class strategic connectivity for people and goods as part of a modern integrated, sustainable transport system. Whilst technology and the needs and choices of business and individuals are fast changing, the 18,000 members of Business West have long recognised the need for a new junction on the M4 catering for a fast growing residential and commercial population. We strongly support the creation of a new M4 junction at the earliest opportunity as an important component of our transport system”
Also attending the Gateway2Growth launch today will be a number of local politicians and influential business leaders, showing their support for the proposed junction.