|Location Map ( geo)|
|M5, A38, B3140|
|The Midlands, Bristol, London|
|The South West, Taunton, Exeter|
|Bristol, Cheddar (A371), Weston-Super-Mare|
|Bridgwater, Highbridge, Wedmore (B3139), Walrow Industrial Estate|
|Burnham on Sea, Berrow, Brean, Holiday Parks|
Edithmead Interchange is junction 22 of the M5.
The junction at Edithmead primarily services the towns of Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge, which lie just a couple of miles to the west via the B3140 and A38. However, as can be seen above, there are a large number of other destinations reached by leaving the M5 at Edithmead, most of them for northbound traffic, as southbound traffic would have left further north.
The junction itself is a trumpet interchange, with the southbound carriageway slips sweeping round from the northeast quadrant to cross the motorway, where they are joined by the northbound slips before reaching the Edithmead Roundabout and so the A38 and B3140. There are local stories that the northbound slips are short and tight because of an oversight when it came to purchasing the necessary land, although how true this is is uncertain.
The roundabout at Edithmead is a large, but simple, four-armed junction. The eastern arm serves the motorway slips, the western the B3140 into Burnham, and the remaining two are the A38. Before the arrival of the motorway, the A38 passed straight through as the B3140 is the 'motorway link road', and previous access to Burnham had been via Edithmead Lane and Stoddens Lane. During the late 1990s, the arrows on the approach lanes to the roundabout were changed a number of times to try and increase capacity, but the junction still suffers from the fact that the turning lanes simply aren't long enough from any direction, meaning only two cars can wait side-by-side, the remainder queuing back along the approach roads, often for significant distances.
At the same time as the arrows were changed, the motorway slips were all reduced to single-lanes, with substantial hatching. This means that the northbound and southbound lanes onto the motorway are designated right from the roundabout, rather than the previous situation where the northbound slip turned off the southbound. There is still a significant weaving issue for traffic leaving the motorway, however. As mentioned above, most southbound traffic (right hand approach) is destined for Burnham or Highbridge (left lane at roundabout), while northbound traffic (left hand approach) is more likely to be turning right.