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Campaigners for new M4 link from Emersons Green, near Bristol, take case to House of Commons

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Written by: Michael Yong | Posted 17 September 2015 17:29

Campaigners for new M4 link from Emersons Green, near Bristol, take case to House of Commons

The case for a new M4 junction at Emersons Green to help with congestion in the A4174 ring road has been mooted in the House of Commons.

Last night, a report into the business and social benefits was revealed in Westminster. Commissioned by the Gateway2Growth campaign group, and written by the University of Bath, it highlights six key reasons for the link.

The Emersons Green Enterprise Area supports thousands of jobs, with the key Bristol and Bath Science Park having opened recently.

But heavy congestion on the ring road has led to calls to restart a campaign the link road between junctions 18 and 19 of the M4.

The calls were first made nearly 30 years ago, but have faced opposition time and again.

With thousands of homes also now earmarked for that part of Bristol and South Gloucestershire, Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore is leading calls to create the road to provide easier access to Emersons Green.

Transport minister Andrew Jones was at the meeting last night to acknowledge the report and a petition with hundreds of signatures.

Mr Skidmore said: ““The University of Bath’s report sets out a clear and pressing need for investment in a new junction, on a number of fronts.

“It is a significant step in the Gateway2Growth campaign, which is building momentum with a clear consensus on the business and social benefits for the region, commuters and businesses.

“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 campaign for the new 18a link since entering Westminster and the need for a new road link is becoming more pressing than ever if we are to maximise the area’s economic potential.”

The initiative has already gained cross-party support, with organisations at the business parks joining calls for it.

It was also highlighted at Prime Ministers Questions earlier this year.

The reports said the new link would attract new business investment and highly skilled employment to the Emersons Green Enterprise Area, particularly in high technology industries.

Thornbury and Yate MP and campaign supporter Luke Hall added: "Lots of people I speak to recognise the need for improvements to the M4 junction to meet the current need for better infrastructure.

“It forms a key part of supporting future growth for South Gloucestershire and will help the Government and local partners deliver on their objectives for a dynamic, locally-led and growing economy."

The Emersons Green Enterprise Area 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.

 

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