£500,000 scheme to improve traffic flow on A39

Plans to “improve traffic flow and reduce congestion” at two major road junctions on the A39 have been published, Bath & North East Somerset Council has said.

The A39 is a key commuting route, with two traffic-light controlled junctions with the B3116 and A368.

Congestion at these two junctions impact not only on through traffic but also cause delays for local traffic.

This includes a £500,000 scheme to improve traffic flow on the A39, with work to increase road capacity at the A39/B3116 junction (known as the Two Headed Man junction) in 2017.

A council spokesperson said that around 5,000 vehicles a-day use the existing light-controlled junction which has one lane in each direction. Vehicles turning here frequently hold-up traffic while they wait for the opportunity to turn.

It is proposed to widen the A39 carriageway on each approach to two lanes to provide dedicated turning lanes.

A council spokesperson said that, in addition, further improvements are planned to the A39/A368 junction at Marksbury in 2018, subject to grant funding.

Councillor Tim Warren, leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said improving the area’s transport network and reducing congestion was one of the administration’s “top priorities”.

He added: “This includes schemes that improve traffic flow at notorious junctions and bottlenecks such as the Two Headed Man. Alongside further improvements planned to the A39 at the junction with the A368 Marksbury, this major traffic improvement scheme will reduce traffic 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.”

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s cabinet member for transport, councillor Anthony Clarke, said the  improvements “formed a key part” of the council’s wider plan to improve transport and tackle congestion across the B&NES area.

He added: “[They] will significantly improve both road capacity and traffic flow on the A39. Not only will these improvements speed-up commuter times but it will also reduce emissions from idling cars which impact on air quality.”

Residents can find out more about the proposals and give feedback at a drop-in event in Marksbury Village Hall on the 20 June.

Copies of the proposals can also be found on Bath & North East Somerset Council’s website.