A £2.7 million project to extend dualling of the A350 at Chippenham is expected to pump £6m a year into the local economy.

Speaking at Chippenham’s area board meeting, Parvis Khansari, service director for highways and transport at Wiltshire Council, said: “The project hopes to deliver the benefits of cutting one-and-a-half minutes off the average journey time, and an estimated annual gross value for gross added value to local economy of £5.9m through the creation of additional jobs.”

The work will extend the dual carriageway, which runs about 2.5 miles from the M4 up to the Jacksom’s Lane junction, taking it another 600 metres to the Badger roundabout next to Morrisons.

Improvements will also be made to Malmesbury Road roundabout.

Mr Khansari told the meeting last week that a period of “misery” while work is carried out should be expected, followed on completion by reduced congestion.

He said: “There will be some misery when utilities move in. During construction a 30mph limit will be in place to ensure the safety of the site staff.”

But the road would be kept open to two-way traffic throughout, with a series of closures only scheduled to take place overnight.

Utility companies are this week carrying out preparatory investigative work ahead of diverting electricity supplies. This has to be done by the end of March when construction is due to begin.

It is hoped improvements will be completed by December.

It was announced last May that £1.9m had been secured from the Local Pinch Point Fund (LPPF), a fund designed to support schemes that tackle congestion or address the condition of highway structures that are close to becoming a barrier to access.

When deciding what to apply for, Mr Khansari said: “Without a shadow of a doubt, Malmesbury Roundabout was our pinch point.”