Published: October 25, 2013
New barriers aim to boost M5 safety between Burnham and Weston

A project to boost safety on the M5 motorway between Burnham-On-Sea and Weston is to start this week.

The Highways Agency has announced that a new concrete and steel barrier will be introduced along the central reservation between junction 22 at Burnham and junction 21 at Weston.

Work on the four-mile section will start this Sunday (27th October) and is scheduled to continue until the middle of February 2014.

Highways Agency Project Sponsor Alex Knapp told "The existing steel barrier in the central reservation on this part of the M5 has reached the end of its serviceable life and needs to be replaced."

"The new concrete and steel barrier should last longer and require less maintenance, reducing the need for road closures and traffic restrictions in the future."

The work comes after a fatal accident yesterday (Thursday) saw a lorry plough through the steel central reservation, although the incident has not prompted the work.

The project will also include drainage work, resurfacing and the temporary installation of average speed cameras.

The works will be carried out during the day and overnight and will require the hard shoulder and various lanes to be closed at different times. Narrow lanes and a 50 mile per hour speed restriction will be introduced in order for the work to be safely carried out.

In addition to the above restrictions, there will be no overnight access to Sedgemoor Services from the southbound carriageway on Sunday 27th October and no overnight access from the northbound carriageway on Tuesday 29th October. The closures will be in place from 10pm until 6am the following morning on each of these two nights.

With effect from January 2005 and based primarily on safety grounds, the Highways Agency's policy is that all new motorway schemes are to use high-containment concrete barriers in the central reservations.

The project comes after a series of accidents in recent years where large vehicles such as lorries and caravans have ploughed through the metal barriers into oncoming traffic, as pictured above in 2010.


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