A £500,000 congestion-busting scheme to improve traffic at a major road junction in North East Somerset, known as the Two Headed Man, has been completed.
Bath & North East Somerset Council, together with the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership, has invested in the scheme aimed at significantly reducing peak-time queues at the junction on the A39.
Around 5,000 vehicles each day use the light-controlled junction which previously had one lane in each direction and caused turning vehicles to hold up traffic as they waited to turn.
Improvement work has included widening the carriageway on each approach to two lanes to provide dedicated turning lanes at the A39/B3116 junction.
The A39 is a key commuting route, with two traffic-light controlled junctions at the B3116 and A368. Congestion at both junctions impacts not only on through traffic but also cause delays for local traffic.
Further improvements to motorists’ journey times are planned to the A39/A368 junction at Marksbury in 2018, subject to grant funding.
Cllr Tim Warren (Cons, Mendip), Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “Improving the area’s transport network and reducing congestion is one of our top priorities. This includes schemes at notorious junctions and bottlenecks such as the Two Headed Man.
“The need to improve traffic on the A39, and at the Two Headed Man junction in particular, has been talked about locally for many years. These improvements form a key part of our wider plan to improve transport and tackle congestion across the B&NES area, and I would like to thank residents for their patience while work was being undertaken.
“Alongside further improvements planned to the A39 at the Marksbury junction with the A368, this major traffic improvement scheme will reduce queues and improve journey times for thousands of drivers each day.
“And by reducing the amount of time people are sat in traffic, not only are we making journeys quicker and easier, but we are also helping to support our local economy and improve our regions’ productivity as well.”
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “Tackling congestion is a key part of ensuring future economic growth across the West of England region.
“This work, funded by the Local Growth Fund through the West of England Joint Committee, will significantly improve both road capacity, speed up commuter times and reduce emissions from idling cars which impact on air quality.”