Fresh look at diversions

SOUTH Gloucestershire Council is reviewing traffic diversions for drivers facing two more years of delays following the closure of the M4 Badminton Road bridge.

National Highways, the agency responsible for the bridge, says the cracked concrete structure carrying the A432 Badminton Road over the M4 between the ring road and Yate must be replaced.

A new bridge will not be ready until early 2026 – a timescale the agency says is “much shorter than normal”.

The council, which is working with the agency to try and minimise disruption, is looking at its current diversion routes and will hold a “public engagement” programme in the spring before deciding whether to bring in any changes.

The closure of the bridge next to the Wick Wick roundabout cuts off the main route from the ring road to Yate, Coalpit Heath and Frampton Cotterell, resulting in 16,000 vehicles a day being diverted through narrow country roads.

South Gloucestershire Council leader Claire Young said council road engineers will work with National Highways to review all diversion routes, to help smooth traffic movement around the area.

People living and working on diversion routes have complained of speeding drivers, road rage and many minor accidents, with four times as many vehicles as usual were using Henfield Road, between Westerleigh Road and Coalpit Heath, since the diversion had been put in place.

Westerleigh Parish Council chair Rob McCullough said many measures, including new traffic lights in Henfield Road, had helped but there have been knock-on effects.

He called for the council to consider reopening the right turn at the Hambrook lights on the A4174, painting a new white line along the middle of Henfield Road, and stopping non-local lorries from using it.