30 months of roadworks on the way

Two-and-a-half years of roadworks will begin in August.

Skanska, working on behalf of Highways England, will carry out vital works to a number of bridges along the M5, in the Junction 11 area – the Cheltenham junction.

This will affect the A40 with lane closures and reduced speed limits set to be put in place.

In a letter from Skanska it says: “The majority of works will be undertaken during the day with traffic management installed on the M5.

“We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience or disruption the work may cause but we ask both residents and drivers to be patient throughout this period of disruption.

“We will of course make every effort to ensure that the impact on the local community is kept to a minimum.”

Taxi driver, Jonny Rocks, regularly uses the A40 and M5.

Cheltenham-based Jonny said: “It’s going to affect me drastically as my business is Gloucester and Cheltenham based and that is the main road between them. I do a lot of long distance and I’ll have to work longer accounting for the extra time caused by roadworks.”

Jonny is particularly concerned that the work will be going on at the same time as plans to redesign Elmbridge Court roundabout – originally proposed for summer this year.

“The two works combined would be devastating for business,” said Jonny. “It would be carnage. You’ll come off the motorway with lane closures and find Elmbridge Court being dug up.”

The plan for Elmbridge Court roundabout was to include a ‘hamburger’ lane running through its middle.

“If they could hold one scheme back that would be good otherwise it would cause serious problems,” said Jonny.

The bridges set to be repaired by Skanska are Staverton Haydons Elm Bridge, Cheltenham Gloucester Road under-bridge, the Golden Valley Interchange north and south bridges, of Bamfurlong Lane over-bridge and the Golden Valley Interchange east and west bridges.

Work includes repairing support columns, refurbishing decks and fixing foundations.

Skanska said: “This group of schemes have been selected as we expect them to cause minimal disruption to local stakeholders, whilst providing a cost effective repair to bring the structures back into a fully serviceable state.

“The installation of traffic management is designed to maintain the safety of both the road user and our workforce throughout the works.”

Jonny isn’t impressed with the time frame though.

He said: “The M5 didn’t take two-and-a-half-years to build completely.

“Why do bridges take that long? Japan had a tsunami and they were back up and running within 6 months because they were serious about business.”