DESPITE alternative reports, the M5 through Gloucestershire will not be reduced to 50mph until 2019, although if serious work is needed Highways England is ready to strike.

News broke on Friday that the M5 could be slowed to 50mph all the way from Junction 9 at Tewkesbury to Junction 14 at Falfield from the end of the month until January 2019.

However, this is not the case.

Highways England has put an 18-month traffic order in place, which it states is regular practice, this would enable it to put traffic management and restrictions in place if any programmed work is needed between those dates.

A spokesman for Highways England South West said: “The M5 section between junctions 9 and 14 will not be subject to a permanent 50mph speed restriction from the end of the month until January 2019.

“It is a statutory requirement, as part of our application for speed restrictions and traffic management, to publish a traffic order ahead of any planned works between those dates.

“The traffic order allows for any overnight closures of small sections, no more than five kilometres in length, with temporary 50mph restrictions in place.

“These will come into effect as and when any maintenance and repair work is programmed and undertaken between 30 July and January 2019, and these will be announced once finalised.”