The government has announced that plans can move forward to allow traffic to join and exit the M5 in both directions at junction 10.
Gloucestershire County Council, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Borough Councils together with GFirst LEP have worked in partnership towards achieving an ‘all ways’ M5 Junction 10 to support the delivery of the housing and employment growth set out in the Joint Core Strategy (JCS).
In 2016, the partnership worked on a bid to the Department for Transport’s ‘Large Local Major Transport Schemes Fund’ for money to create an outline business case for work at the junction.
Then in 2017 the county council, supported by its partners, submitted an expression of interest as part of the governments ‘Housing Infrastructure Fund’.
Yesterday’s announcement that the expression of interest was successful means a more detailed business case can now be drawn up.
Junction 10 is currently one of the few junctions on the M5 with restricted access and resolving this is a top priority within the county council’s adopted local transport plan and is a key element of the JCS’s infrastructure delivery plan.
At the moment, the junction has no access to join the motorway to travel south, and there is no exit for motorway traffic coming from the south. This means that traffic wishing to access the north west of Cheltenham has to use more local roads which causes congestion.
A new layout would see environmental benefits from less traffic travelling through Cheltenham and businesses would see savings in their transport costs as they would no longer need to travel to or from junction 11.
Emergency services would also be able to respond more easily to incidents on the M5 in the vicinity of the junction.
The ‘all ways’ improvement will also provide the transport infrastructure to support the phased delivery of west and north west Cheltenham’s strategic development sites with up to 70 hectares of employment land, incorporating the internationally important cyber park, and 5,600 homes.
Cllr Lynden Stowe, cabinet member for economy, skills and growth said, “Gloucestershire is ripe for investment and yesterday’s fantastic news shows the government’s confidence in the county council to deliver these improvements at junction 10 of the M5.
“Allowing traffic to join and exit in both directions will make life easier for local people and businesses. The council will now work with government to move the project forward.”
Diane Savory, chair of GFirst LEP said, “Todays announcement about Junction 10 of the M5 will make a real tangible difference to the lives of people living and working in Gloucestershire, I am excited to see how this progresses and comes to fruition.”
Cllr Steve Jordan, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said, “Everyone I have spoken to locally thinks upgrading J10 is needed as soon as possible so I am pleased that we are getting this message across at a national level.”
Cllr Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, said, “Upgrading junction 10 is vital to enable us to achieve the housing and employment growth set out in the Joint Core Strategy. This announcement is good news and shows the Government’s confidence in our ability to deliver.”
Cllr David Waters, leader of Tewkesbury Borough Council, said, “This is great news for Tewkesbury borough and for the whole of Gloucestershire. An ‘all ways’ junction 10 will help the JCS authorities drive growth to create homes and jobs for the people of Gloucestershire.”