Vail Williams: M4 upgrade road works worth short-term pain for long-term gain to Thames Valley economy

Commercial property expert Vail Williams has welcomed Department for Transport plans to upgrade the M4 into a ‘smart motorway’ from junctions 3 to 12,

The company, which has its Thames Valley headquarters in the M4 corridor, speaks with years’ worth of experience of working with clients across the region and beyond. The short-term pain of road works is well worth the long-term gain of economic development, said Vail Williams partner Kevin Cook.

In a formal response to the Highways Agency consultation ‘M4 junctions 3-12 smart motorway’, he explained: “Our Thames Valley headquarters is in the M4 corridor – at Thames Valley Park, Reading – so we know first-hand the problems that are caused when the motorway gets congested. It has reached capacity and that’s why we welcome this upgrade plan.

“Improving traffic flow and reducing the pressure on this major route is now a necessity both for commuters and businesses. Rush hour is the worst, obviously, but the motorway now regularly struggles to cope with the volume of traffic even during less busy times – and this harms trade.

“We see the economic impact of the M4’s regular congestion through our own experience and advising our many clients. Upgrading the M4 will help build a network ready for long-term development, growth and to attract businesses west from London, as well as giving better access to Heathrow – one of the world’s busiest airports.

“There is likely to be some short term pain while the road works are completed. Already, construction at junctions 8/9 and 10 has increased congestion, so we would like to see further details – such as whether the upgrade will be handled in phases or not.

“Despite concern over the impact of the road works, however, we support the long term economic opportunities and commercial gain from bringing the M4 back to being fully fit for purpose. It will be a boost for drivers, workers, residents and businesses.”