If you’re having problems sleeping, last week’s new Joint Transport Plan sounds just the ticket to help you drop off.
But hang on. Before you settle in for a nice snooze, it’s really important for all of us who suffer at malfunction junction getting onto the M5 in the morning, or crawl through the narrows at Banwell too.
It will last a long time too, right through to 2036. Like comets, multi-million pound transport plans don’t come around often, so we’ve got to make the most of them when they do.
Looking through the plan, there’s a lot of good stuff we can all applaud. Both Worle and Weston rail stations will be upgraded. J21 will be improved again; that’s about the fourth time in the last six or seven years, but the town keeps growing so it’s vital. And they’re planning to upgrade the motorway itself, so we don’t whizz through an improved J21 and then sit stationary once we’re on it. There’s even, at last, a Banwell bypass; a mere 50 or more years after the idea was first suggested.
But there are snags. There’s a proposal for J21a near Banwell, which ought to be brilliant if it solves the problems around J21. But it doesn’t; it’s only there to justify a small new town near Churchill, with all the extra commuters it will bring. And they’re planning to build it before the improvements to J21 and the motorway itself, which is a recipe for misery.
So two cheers for the plan, but not three. Since it’s still a draft, let’s make sure our voices are heard. If we can fix the problems, we will all spend less time in cars and more at home having fun. You can see the plans and have your say here: www.travelwest.info/jltp