Between 2018 and 2020, Highways England (now National Highways) constructed a new motorway junction on the M49 at the Western Approach Distribution Park.

The new junction is needed to create direct access from Severnside and the wider Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area (ASEA) to the motorway network.

More information on this work is available on the National Highways website.

What we are doing

We are working with the Department for Transport and National Highways on the design and construction of a link road to connect the new motorway junction at Western Approach Distribution Park.

Construction work is due to start next year and is expected to last approximately 12 months.

We will keep stakeholders and this page updated as the project progresses.

The work is being funded by the Department for Transport.

What it means

The new link road will mean that the investment already made by National Highways in the M49 junction is realised.

The benefits of the link road include helping to:

  • reduce congestion on local roads and the motorway
  • improve road safety
  • increase economic activity in the Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area

Other work in the area

Some of the roads within the enterprise area are unfinished and privately owned at present.

We are working with the developer to identify what work is required to bring the roads up to a suitable standard and enable us to take on responsibility for future maintenance.

The work will also require moving and improving part of route 4 of the National Cycle Network.

Project updates

March 2024


A planning application was submitted to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) at the end of February for removal of the temporary cycle track which was constructed by National Highways when the gyratory junction was built.

Subject to consent a permanent cycle track will be constructed before removal of the temporary route.


We continue to work on creating a new habitat for water voles. We have applied for a licence from Natural England and have requested permission from Amazon to undertake the work on their land. This work is seasonal and must be undertaken before we start the main construction works. We aim to do this by the end of April.

We have also applied for a special licence to deal with Great crested newts.


As part of design work we have engaged with ground stabilisation contractors.  We have received tenders for this specialist piece of work and expect to appoint a contractor soon.

In the coming weeks we aim to be on-site to excavate holes for establishing the positioning of the gas main protection slab.

We will also be excavating into the gyratory stub to inform the design of the ‘tie in’ between the gyratory and the new link road.

Land negotiations

While we continue to try and secure land through negotiation we are also progressing the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) but this will only be used as a last resort.

Reviews of the existing agreements held by the landowners have identified some very minor differences over plot boundaries, so we are updating the CPO documents to reflect the outcome of the plot boundary review.

Project timeline

Construction work is scheduled to begin in the summer and is expected to take 12 months however this is subject to change.

December 2023

Planning permission for the new link road was granted on 23 November 2023. Construction work is due to start in 2024, but this timeframe is dependent on land ownership discussions.

We are working proactively with landowners to secure the land as quickly as possible. We are also preparing a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), in case an agreement cannot be reached with a landowner. On 11 December 2023, Cabinet approved some amendments to the CPO boundary.

Impact assessments

Ecological surveys have identified the presence of water voles in the pond fronting the Amazon building. As water voles are a protected species the project team is working with ecologists and Natural England to relocate them to other parts of the pond.

Other surveys carried out to enable the impact of the scheme to be fully assessed include air quality monitoring and traffic counts. The transport assessment is included in the planning application.

March 2023

A planning application has been submitted for the new M49 junction link road.

The Local Planning Authority has launched a public consultation, providing an opportunity for people to comment on the application. Go to our planning applications page and search application number P23/00268/F to view and comment on the application.

We have secured £7 million of funding from the Department for Transport to deliver the project and we are working closely with stakeholders to progress the new link road to the west of the M49 junction as quickly as possible.

Construction work is due to start on site later in 2023, but this timeframe could be subject to change and is dependent on the planning process and land ownership discussions. Construction is expected to last approximately 12 months.

We continue to work proactively with landowners to secure the land as quickly as possible. To achieve this Cabinet recently agreed progression of Compulsory Purchase Order processes at its meeting on 10 February, whilst the council continues with positive negotiations with the respective landowners.

You can read more on this in the cabinet report.

December 2022

Current work on the project includes working towards the consents needed for the new link road such as planning as well as other technical approvals.

A planning application is due to be submitted to the Local Planning Authority by the end of the year.

In order to build the link, we need to obtain privately owned land and we are currently working on this while progressing with the design of the new road.

A visualisation of the plans for the M49 Link Road

Detailed design work is in progress. Various surveys have been undertaken including topographical, ecological and ground radar surveys. A geotechnical study is underway, with ground investigation work due to start before the end of November.

Proposed road alignments and an alternative route for cycling and walking have been designed.

Construction work is due to start on site later next year, but this timeframe could be subject to change and is dependent on the planning process and land ownership discussions. Construction is expected to last approximately 12 months.

If you have any questions, please contact the project team at

November 2022

Find out more about plans for the new M49 Junction Link Road at a community engagement session in Pilning.

All are welcome to listen to a presentation and to look at the latest designs for the new link road, which will create direct access from the Severnside industrial and enterprise area to the motorway network.

It will also be a chance for you to meet the project manager, who will be on hand to answer any questions, and to talk through the project programme including the next steps.

The drop-in session is being hosted to ensure the public are kept informed ahead of the planning application being submitted.

The sessions is on Thursday 17 November between 4pm and 8pm at Pilning Village Hall, Cross Hands Road, Pilning, BS35 4JB.

No appointments are necessary. The presentation will be repeated throughout the session.

August 2022

Consultants have been appointed to support the project and prepare the planning application for the scheme. It is expected that a planning application will be submitted to the Local Planning Authority later in 2022.

Ecology surveys, design work and geotechnical work have all started and are making progress.

We need to acquire land from several landowners to be able to build the new link road and negotiations with the landowners are ongoing.
Further updates will follow.

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Keep updated

To stay up to date on the M49 link road project you can sign up to our Highway Improvements Newsletter.

Information and updates will also be posted on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

You can also ask us a question by sending an email to

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