A congestion hotspot which has infuriated motorists for decades will finally be unclogged after the final piece in an £18 million improvement scheme fell into place.
The Elmbridge Court roundabout at the end of the A40 Golden Valley bypass will be radically changed as part of a wider plan to improve travel between Cheltenham and Gloucester.
The roundabout will be redesigned and will include a ‘hamburger’ lane running through its middle.
The revamp will also include a 1,000 space park and ride facility, priority lanes for buses and smarter traffic technology to keep everybody on the move.
The scheme can now take another step forward after Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet agreed to use compulsory purchase powers to secure the land it needs to make the project happen.
However, the authority is hoping it can reach an agreement with landowners without having to go the complicated legal route.
Councillor Vernon Smith (C, Tewkesbury East), cabinet member for highways and flood, described the compulsory purchase decision as “the final piece in the puzzle” for the scheme which will mean “fewer headaches” for motorists.
“This is a vitally important scheme with the main aim of easing congestion at this busy roundabout,” he said.
“The park and ride facility will enable more people to use public transport and see fewer vehicles passing through that particular spot which we hope will cut down on queues, emissions and travel time.
“Investment in our roads is vital for the economic prosperity of the county and with this project as well as the C&G and Walls Roundabouts Improvement Scheme, we are aiming to ensure the Gloucester road network will be in excellent shape for many years to come.”
The council is hoping to obtain planning permission for the scheme by autumn this year with any necessary compulsory purchases completed by spring 2015.
Construction work should then start in summer 2015 and the completed scheme could be open to the public by autumn 2016.
Mark Hawthorne, leader of the council, said: “This is a fantastic investment that will make a huge difference to a vital connection between Cheltenham and Gloucester.”
Councillor Lesley Williams (Lab, Stonehouse), leader of the county’s Labour group, added: “We have been looking at this for 20 years and I am delighted that something is now actually happening.
“The traffic around that area is horrendous.”