The West of England Joint Committee has approved almost £1.5m funding for two major projects designed to improve road infrastructure and support economic growth in Bath and North East Somerset.
The Joint Committee is the decision-making body for issues relating to the West of England Combined Authority, Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils, and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The Committee agreed to contribute £700,000 through the LEP’s Local Growth Fund for improvements to the A39 Bences Garage Junction. The project aims to ease congestion and enhance the functioning of the highway network by improving the current pinch point at the A39 junction with the A368 Marksbury Road. The improvement scheme will add capacity to the junction by providing an additional lane for vehicles on the southbound approach and will build on the improvement work recently completed at Two Headed Man Junction on the A39, which was again supported via the LGF.
The Committee has also agreed to set aside £685,000 over 3 years from the Economic Development Fund allocation for Bath Quays, to support the creation of a dedicated team to promote and bring forward strategic development sites within the Bath Riverside Enterprise Zone. Bath & North East Somerset Council will contribute £1.3m towards the project.
Cllr Tim Warren (Conservative, Mendip), Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council said: “Improving transport and creating new homes and jobs are our top priorities so I’m delighted the Joint Committee has approved our request for funding to help deliver on these objectives. Improving local road infrastructure is key to promoting economic growth and the work being carried out on the A39 will reduce journey times while adding extra capacity. Development of the Riverside Enterprise Zone is vital to Bath’s future economic prosperity. Setting up a team to promote and bring forward sites within it, will help us to fulfill our commitment to deliver economic growth in the city.”
Tim Bowles, West of England Regional Mayor added: “These two projects in Bath and North East Somerset, approved through the Joint Committee, will help boost economic growth, and support those key things that will make all our lives better – more jobs, more homes, better transport.”