AN iconic pub located near a busy junction has been flattened to make way for a major road project.

Demolition worked started at the former Air Balloon pub near Birdlip on Saturday, December 2.

A YouTube video posted by Kate Rose shows some drone footage of the pub before and after the demolition.

The historic pub, which formerly stood at the roundabout where the A417 and A436 meet, was a well-known landmark for the local residents and commuters and closed almost a year ago.

National Highways staff are currently undertaking some vegetation clearance of the site and plan to install a new roundabout and site entrance ahead of main construction in January.

The building has been removed to make way for the £460 million Missing Link project's dual-carriageway link between the M4 at Swindon and the M5 at Brockworth in Gloucestershire.

Project director for the A417 Missing Link Steve Foxley said the team attempted to find solutions to avoid its removal during design meetings, but were unsuccessful.  

Mr Foxley said: “We appreciate the Air Balloon pub has been a local landmark for many years and will be missed by its customers and those who value its history.

“As part of our design work for this important safety upgrade to the A417, we investigated other possibilities to see if we could avoid its removal. Sadly, that was not possible.

“Its demolition is needed to provide users with a new road that will improve safety and reduce congestion for the over 40,000 motorists that use the existing A417 each day. 

“Recognising that the pub was named after one of the first British balloon flights, we’re proposing to call the section of repurposed A417, between the proposed new parking area near the Golden Heart Inn and Barrow Wake, the Air Balloon Way.”