1. ITV Report

M5 closed overnight tonight near Bristol

The Pegwell Brake footbridge which spans the M5 will be dismantled tonight. Photo: Highways Agency

A stretch of the M5 near Bristol is to be closed tonight (Saturday) while a footbridge is dismantled.

It will be shut between junctions 17 (Cribbs Causeway) and 16 (Almondsbury) northbound and junctions 15 (Thornbury) and 17 (Cribbs Causeway) southbound from 7pm tonight and 11am tomorrow morning.

The 220 tonne, 50 metre, concrete Pegwell Brake footbridge will be dismantled in two sections using cranes.

The bridge, known locally as the 'Banana Bridge', links Patchway with the village of Over in Almondsbury. A replacement steel bridge will not be in place until the new year.

The steps on the Pegwell Brake footbridge. Credit: Highways Agency

The work is part of an £88m scheme to improve the area's motorways - cutting congestion and journey times.

The 'Managed motorway' scheme uses a range of innovative technology and operating procedures to actively control traffic flow. Techniques such as varying the speed limits and opening up the hard shoulder to traffic are features to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion.

The Pegwell Brake footbridge is being replaced because high-sided vehicles cannot fit under the curved ends of the bridge which are above the hard shoulder lanes.

The bridge is being replaced because lorries cannot fit under the curved ends above the hard shoulder. Credit: Highways Agency

Dismantling the bridge is a huge engineering feat and the only way that we can do this safely and quickly is by fully closing the motorway in both directions.

We strongly advise that people plan ahead, leaving plenty of time for their journeys and to drive safely via the diversion routes which will be clearly signposted.

– Paul Unwin, Highways Agency
M5 motorway. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA
  • DIVERSION ROUTES

M5 Northbound

Traffic travelling North on the M5 wishing to continue beyond junction 17 will be advised by signage prior to junction 18 to exit and join the M49 North. Traffic will then follow the M49 to the M4, take the M4 East to junction 20 and re-join the M5 North. Traffic wishing to exit at M5 junction 16 will take the M4 East to M5 South link road and exit.

Traffic that misses the advanced signage prior to junction 18 will continue North to junction 17 and return South to junction 18, exit, follow signs for Avonmouth (A4), turn at the roundabout, follow signs to join the M49 North and continue as above. Traffic wishing to join the M5 North at junction 17 will also follow this route.

M5 Southbound

Traffic travelling South on the M5 will be diverted at junction 15 onto the M4 West, continue to junction 22, exit and join the M49 South. Dependent on direction of travel, traffic completes the diversion as follows:

· M5 South: Traffic follows signs to join the M5 southbound carriageway at junction 18

· M5 junction 17: Traffic follows signs for Avonmouth (A4), turns at the roundabout, follows signs to join the M5 North, and exits at junction 17

· M5 junction 16: Traffic completes the above route, then from junction 17 follows diversion route signs along Merlin Way followed by Hayes Way, joins the A38 North at Filton and continues to junction 16 of the M5

Traffic wishing to join the M5 South at junction 16 will be diverted South on the A38, turn right onto Hayes Way (before the flyover) then onto Merlin Way and follow diversion route signs to join the M5 South at junction 17.