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Time to get cracking on Junction 21a...

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Weston’s economy has been growing at a heck of a rate over the last few years. Which is wonderful except that, rather like children grow out of their clothes, we’re starting to feel the pinch in our local infrastructure. If Junction 21 was a school jumper or pair of trousers, it would be straining at the seams.

If it only seems like yesterday that we were celebrating improvements to end the queues at Junction 21, you aren’t being a forgetful parent; it really was. Just 3 years ago we finished a major £15 million upgrade which slashed the jams for residents and commuters alike, and underpinned a lot of the new jobs and economic success we’ve had since then.

But now the tailbacks and delays are starting to mount up again. Part of the answer is in creating even more local jobs, of course, so Weston becomes a more sustainably balanced community and fewer people have to commute to Bristol. And our local trains need to improve still further too, so there are better alternatives to travelling by car. But Junction 21 can’t be ignored either.

So it’s good news that we’re getting another £750,000 to improve the junction yet again. But this time it comes with a health warning, because the engineers are pretty clear they can’t expand it any further. After this, it will be at full capacity.

Which means that, next time we outgrow our clothes, we can’t just expand the waistbands a bit. We’re going to need a whole new wardrobe or, in this case, a brand new second motorway junction to cope with the demand. So far the junction has a name – 21a – but that’s all. We will need Government cash and lots of community agreement before it’s built. Time to get cracking……

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