We are proposing to introduce a permanent 50mph speed limit in both directions on a 0.7 mile (1.2km) stretch of the M32 over the Eastville Viaduct. The restrictions would be from a point 83 metres north of the Eastville Viaduct northern mechanical joint to a point 22 metres north of the Severn Beach railway line bridge.
This consultation will last for a period of four weeks starting on 6 February 2017. It will close on 5 March 2017.
Why we are consulting
The Eastville Viaduct elevated section of the M32 was built in the early 1970’s, according to the standards set at that time, with no provision for future expansion made.
As things stand this section of the M32 does not meet the current safety standards of a modern urban motorway. Notably:
the hard shoulder is too narrow (it should be at least 2.75 metres wide, but on average it is 1.99 metres wide)
the space between the right hand lane and the central reservation is too narrow (there should be at least a 0.7 metre gap but on the Eastville Viaduct it is just 0.45 metres)
the central reservation kerb in this location is too high (thereby reducing the effectiveness of the barrier itself)
It is therefore proposed that the speed limit in this location is reduced, from 60mph to 50mph.
The M32 runs through a predominately rural landscape until the start of the viaduct, where it then cuts through a densely populated urban area. A lower speed limit on the viaduct will have the benefit of not only improving safety for road users, but it will also simultaneously help reduce traffic noise and improve air quality, which are key concerns for residents and commuters in that location.
Full details are in the consultation brochure.
How to respond
Please send your response using the form found in the consultation brochure (consultation response form in the appendix). This should be sent to:
Temple Quay House,
2 The Square Temple Quay,
Alternatively you can respond via email at: M32@highwaysengland.co.uk