Calls to extend M5 from Exeter to Plymouth

The M5 currently ends at Exeter. Credit: ITV News West Country

The leader of Plymouth City Council is heading a bid to urge the Government to extend the M5 beyond Exeter. Cllr Ian Bowyer says the lack of a motorway into the city is holding back the economy of the South West.

His motion - which has cross party support - is to be debated at a meeting of the City Council this afternoon. Cllr Bowyer is also backed by Plymouth MP Luke Pollard, who says the M5 should be extended to the Tamar Bridge.

"This Council, working with partners, seeks to engage with the Government to put forward a bid for greater powers under the Government’s devolution agenda. We note and support the emphasis contained in the Industrial Strategy on increasing economic growth and raising productivity. "However, the main barrier to the City playing its part in this initiative is the lack of connectivity between the South West and the rest of the UK. This presents a major risk to both Plymouth andt he wider region in delivering the Government’s agenda – it undermines the future prospects of every resident and every family in our City. We cannot fulfil our potential. "Whilst proposals for improvement in rail connectivity (via the Peninsular Rail Task Force) have been presented to the Government, and Plymouth City Council have sought to protect the City Airport under the Joint Local Plan, no meaningful plans are in place to provide better road links to Plymouth. This Council believes this situation should be remedied by extending the M5 motorway to Plymouth."

Motion before Plymouth City Council