COMMUTERS were hit by heavy delays yesterday as major work began at key areas around the town which is expected to last for several months.

Long queues developed along Great Western Way as Thames Water began work around the Bruce Street Bridges as part of their long term plan to improve the sewers.

The overall capacity of the sewer system is being improved to deal with the expected growth in the town over the coming years, with two new pipes being laid.

It means that until early next month, Iris Redman Gardens will be closed along with one lane of Rodbourne Road.

A spokesperson for Thames Water said: “We’re really sorry for any problems caused by this essential work which is needed to improve and maintain the sewer system in the area.

“Wherever we can we work closely with local councils to make sure diversions are appropriate and well signposted and will aim to have the work completed as quickly as possible.”

Following the completion of this part of the work, Cheney Manor Road will see a lane closed between the junction of Rodbourne Road and Baileys Corner.

Bus routes in the area have also been hit by the congestion with some services running behind schedule.

Paul Jenkins, managing director of Thamesdown Transport, said: “The works at Bruce Street Bridges have caused delays to a number of our services in the town and we apologise for any inconvenience caused by these events, which were beyond our control.

“The impact has so far been felt the worst on routes linking the town centre and West Swindon, particularly Services 19 and 22.

“There were knock-on delays to other routes due to the traffic congestion caused by the works, but services largely returned to normal after the morning peak period was over.”

Thames Water are also due to start carrying out work elsewhere including Wootton Bassett Road.

In Highworth, Westrop will be closed throughout the week as the water company carries out work to connect pipes to the new houses. Police have advised drivers to use the A361 or St Michael’s Avenue if they need to access Grove Hill.

Work is also due to begin this week to make Regents Circus more pedestrian friendly in preparation for the leisure complex being constructed on the site.

The roadworks could last into the summer and access to Crombey Street is expected to be limited during this period.

A Swindon Council spokesman said: “Unfortunately this is essential work from Thames Water which is taking place at a particularly busy location. “We have been working with Thames Water to try to minimise any disruption and information boards and notices were put up several weeks in advance of the work.

“We would advise motorists to allow extra time for their journeys or to seek alternative routes if necessary.”