Activists fighting against plans for a new Banwell bypass are urging people to have a say in the project – amid fears it will increase traffic on surrounding roads by up to 50%.
Churchill and Langford Residents Action Group (CALRAG) organized a series of drop-in tours to give people a say in the £97million circulation scheme. North Somerset Council announced its preferred route for the new Banwell Bypass, due for completion in 2024, last autumn.
The chosen route, which is just north of Banwell on the A368, is expected to improve congestion, air quality and noise in the area.
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The pre-planning application consultation on the detailed design of the bypass is the next stage due to take place in early 2022. North Somerset Council hopes to be able to acquire the land it needs through negotiation and agreement, but may need to use its mandatory purchasing powers.
The bypass will unlock land for future development, allowing the delivery of new, affordable homes. It will be funded by government money which will also pay for thousands of new homes and the expansion of the Winterstoke Hundred Academy at Locking Parklands.
However, campaigners against the plan say the bypass will see traffic increase by up to 25% on the A368 and A371 at Sandford, Winscombe and Churchill, and up to 50% at peak times, within two years following construction.
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They say increased traffic in surrounding areas will lead to air, light and noise pollution and local villages will become more dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians. Residents also say nearby villages will become rats with more traffic from the bypass and new accommodation on the A370, M5 and A38.
There are also fears that the new road could cause permanent damage to an area of natural beauty and local wildlife could be threatened. A planning application for the bypass is expected this summer.
Drop-in visits for locals to have a say in the program are taking place at Sandford Village Hall on March 4 from 2.30pm to 7pm and at Churchill Primary School on March 5 from 10am to 2.30pm.
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There will also be a session at the Winscombe Community Center on March 5 from 2-4:30 p.m.
A CALRAG spokesman said: ‘The aims of the visits are to ensure residents are fully aware of all the implications of the Banwell Bypass project to enable them to make their own informed decisions.’
Bypass plans for Banwell have been on the cards for decades to ease congestion in the village.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-03 14:09:06