Junction 25 upgrade – community drop-in events

Members of the public and local businesses are invited to meet the team behind the M5 Junction 25 improvements and see the plans in more detail at two community drop-in events.

Somerset County Council has developed a scheme to increase the capacity of this vital Taunton link to improve traffic flow, ease peak hour congestion and unlock land for employment to the east of the M5.

Being delivered by contractor Alun Griffiths, work is due to begin in late March and two pre-construction drop-in events will be held to give people chance to see the plans in detail and discuss the plan for delivery.

These will be held at Ruishton Village Hall between 3pm and 8pm on Thursday 7 March and Thursday 14 March.

Councillor John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We know people will have questions about these improvements and I’m pleased we now have some community drop-in events in the diary.

“Please come along and meet Alun Griffiths and our design team. We’ll have the plans on display and can answer any questions you might have about how these vital improvements will help to ease congestion at this very busy junction.”

The J25 scheme is expected to cost around £19.2m with allocated funding from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal Fund, Taunton Deane Borough Council, Highways England, Somerset County Council and developer contributions.

The upgrade involves full signalisation and enlarging of the roundabout, widening of the eastern exit, a new roundabout to access the proposed Nexus 25 employment site, and safer pedestrian and cycling facilities.

Junction 25 currently experiences congestion in both peak hours, with queues frequently extending along the A358 in both directions and it will help address issues with backing up onto the M5.

The J25 scheme, which is expected to take two years to deliver, has been planned to run alongside future planned improvements at the Creech Castle junction on Toneway in Taunton. This scheme is currently being developed but works are expected to begin in 2020. Co-ordinating them to overlap in this way should reduce the impact on motorists by reducing the overall timescales compared to running them consecutively.

These designs have also been shared with Highways England who are developing a major dual carriageway improvement to the A358 between Ilminster and the M5. Highways England consulted on three A358 options last year and these localised improvements to Junction 25 are necessary regardless of which wider A358 option is taken forward by Highways England.

You can stay up to date with current and future roadworks as well as checking for live travel incidents at www.travelsomerset.co.uk or by following @TravelSomerset on Twitter.

Funding 

The J25 scheme upgrade is expected to cost around £19.2m with allocated funding from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal Fund, Taunton Deane Borough Council, Highways England, Somerset County Council and developer contributions.

The Heart of the South West LEP’s total Growth Deal is worth over £590m; including £239m from Government and £351m match funding. Over the lifetime of the Growth Deal: 2015 – 2021; HotSW LEP estimates the investment will create up to 26,930 new jobs and 18,242 new homes; over 59,000 people will be trained under this programme and over 30,000 businesses will have been supported.

“Local Growth Fund”

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone. That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Some additional key facts:

  • There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England
  • The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic
  • LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood