An­other bridge is not so­lu­tion to traf­fic is­sues

Gloucestershire Echo - - LETTERS & OPINION - Jeremy Cham­ber­layne Maise­more

✒ I BE­LIEVE it is wrong to ad­vise that new bridges across the es­tu­ary are the so­lu­tion to the traf­fic prob­lems in West Glouces­ter­shire.

Lyd­ney and Blak­eney are rel­a­tively small com­mu­ni­ties, with poor road con­nec­tions to the north.

They do have ac­cess to M4 and, with the New A40, would have easy ac­cess to Glouces­ter, with half the traf­fic re­moved from Over Bridge.

The right an­swer is the one that was fully planned, with land pur­chased, nearly 30 years ago - the New A40, which was to con­nect the A40, at Long­ford, with the M50, at Gors­ley, thus re­mov­ing a large part of the load from Over round­about, which cur­rently han­dles all Glouces­ter and Chel­tenham bound traf­fic from the sec­tor be­tween Chep­stow, Ross, Here­ford, Newent, Led­bury and all roads West of the river at Tewkes­bury.

Even more heavy traf­fic, from Ox­ford to Here­ford will come this way, when the A417, Crick­ley Hill im­prove­ment is com­pleted.

It is quite likely that the 40 year old Over Bridge, stand­ing on soft foun­da­tions, could suf­fer break­down, as could the A417 Maise­more Road, de­vel­oped from a toll road, with lit­tle en­gi­neer­ing, apart from rais­ing it to a level that ac­tu­ally im­pedes flood flow.

It runs very close to a deep ditch and that side of it is al­ready more than 200mm. lower than the other.

So, that could sub­side, at any time Hart­pury and High­leadon bet­ter watch out.

If the new A40 were to be cho­sen, it would be good to make the de­ci­sion soon, be­fore Maise­more ex­pands into its only pos­si­ble route.

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