M49 (Bristol to second Severn crossing)

By Martyn Hicks

The M49 was built between junction 22 of the new M4 section by the new Second Severn Crossing and junction 18A of the M5 just before the Avonmouth Bridge - upon which the recent major engineering works [time of writing: December 2001] have created nightmare traffic jams. The primary function is to provide a shortcut for traffic from the South-West into Wales and vice versa, eliminating the bottleneck at Almondsbury interchange of the M4/M5 - especially at peak holiday season which often caused major headaches for local residents of North Bristol as traffic queues often spilled into the city via the A38. The M49 is a relatively short two-lane motorway of about 5 miles in length. The scenery is contrasting, with the Avonmouth industrial areas with smoking chimneys on one side and the green pleasantness of Spaniorum Hill with rural villages on the other.

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