Weston’s MP secures Roads Minister’s intervention on M5 congestion

Weston’s MP John Penrose has welcomed a rare invitation from the Department of Transport’s Roads Minister, inviting North Somerset Council to focus more strongly on finding a solution to ever-worsening problems between Junction 20 and 21 of the M5.

The letter comes just weeks after Government Inspectors sent North Somerset Council back to the drawing board over the Joint Spatial Plan.

John said: “There were plenty of good initiatives in the Council’s Plan, but some serious problems too. The biggest shortcoming was that it ducked the central problem of ever-worsening congestion between J20 and J21 of the M5 completely, and proposed huge numbers of extra houses in rural villages that would have made things even worse.

“Now the planning inspectors have thrown out the Council’s plan and told them to go back to the drawing board, we’ve got a second chance to get this right. It’s extremely rare for any Council, anywhere, to get an invitation from the Government’s Road Minister asking them to think bigger, but that’s effectively what this letter does. Now the door is open, I’d be delighted to work closely with the Council to see what can be done. We’ve got to take full advantage of this chance to end commuter misery.”  

Notes and Background:

A copy of the letter is available here:

John has been involved in village meetings, petitions and protests since the plans were released in 2017, such as this one:

John sent his first formal response to inspectors asking them to reject the plans in December 2017 and followed it up with this up letter expressing transport concerns specific to the M5 and Junction 21 in this letter: 

John also responded specifically to the Joint Transport Plan saying, “plans should prioritise upgrades to the M5 between J20 and J21, delivering Junction 21 upgrades”

When the JSP was rejected by Inspectors in August, John said this was another chance to get it right for local people: