BANWELL BYPASS

 It seems that after almost 100 years the Banwell Bypass might become a reality.  Whether you are for or against it, this summer will be your opportunity to have your say.

Below is the beginning of an outline timetable detailing the process.  This will be updated as we get a better idea of when each stage will be.

Events Timeline

1. Council grant decision - June 2020.
2. Procuremnet plan approvals - Summer 2020.
3. Signing grant agreement - August 2020.
4. Begin advanced surveys - August 2020.
5. Appoint designers - April 2021.
6. Design optioneering - Spring/Summer 2021
7. Six- week public consultation on options - July/August
8. Decision made on preferred bypass route - Late Summer 2021.
9. Detailed design of preferred bypass route - Autumn/Winter 2021. 
10. Pre planning application consultation on bypass desing - Early 2022.
11.  Planning application submission - 2022.
12. Expected start on site to begin build - 2023.
13. Expected bypass completion - 2024. 

Potential Bypass Routes

Over the years there have been many routes considered.  For 2021 we understand from North Somerset that they are currently considering three outline routes - these are not set in stone and might change before the consultation over the summer.

Below is an indicative map of potential proposed routes..

Map of draft 3 bypass routes

Alun Griffiths Chosen as Banwell Bypass Contractor

The contracting firm Alun Griffiths will work with North Somerset Council to design and construct Banwell Bypass with public engagement, due to start this summer, to help decide the bypass route.  As part of the project, the contractors will offer a range of opportunities to local residents, such as work placements and experience, support for community projects and employment opportunities.

In the meantime, North Somerset are continuing with important ecological surveys looking at ground conditions, wildlife and traffic modelling to better understand how designs can best protect the local environment and communities.

Funded by a successful bid for £97m from Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, the bypass will alleviate long standing traffic issues in Banwell, making the roads safer, the air cleaner and the village quieter for those who live there.  It is hoped that the bypass will also provide opportunities to increase active and sustainable travel between villages and Weston-super-Mare.  You can read more about the bypass from North Somerset here

Surveys

TACP have been appointed by Alun Griffiths Construction to provide consultancy work for North Somerset Councils Banwell Bypass project. They are undertaking ecological survey in the area from week commencing 17th May 2021.

This will include,

  • Hedgerows

Assessment of all key hedgerows, by ecologists on foot. Detailed surveys will be carried out on hedgerows likely to be impacted by the preferred option to determine whether hedgerows meet the ecological criteria for ‘important’ under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997.

Timings: Key hedgerows along all options will be surveyed in May/June and hedgerows along the preferred option will be surveyed during August.

  • European Otter

Ecologist on foot will search for signs of otter presence, this will include assessing each water body for potential holts, slides, or saints within 250m of the preferred option. Timing: Any time of year

  • Water voles

Ecologists on foot, surveys will be carried out along all suitable watercourses/terrestrial habitats or key locations within 250m of the three options in May/June 2021. This will be followed by a survey later in the season along all suitable watercourses or in suitable terrestrial habitats within 250m of the preferred option. 

  • Kingfisher

Ecologists on foot, surveys will be carried out along all waterbodies within 250m of the three options and also of any suitable waterbodies that are bisected by these options that may be outside of this buffer.

Timing: May to June

  • Great Crested Newts

Ecologists on foot will sample and analyse from high potential ponds. The results will determine whether further surveys are required if sampling confirms use of the pond by GCN. Survey effort will be discussed with Natual England and may require surveys to continue in April – June 2022.