MOTORISTS have been warned to expect rush-hour delays as roadworks start on Monday at one of Swindon’s busiest roundabouts.

Changes are being made to the Mannington roundabout to allow traffic to move more freely, especially at peak times.

The upgrade is being funded by Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership as part of a wider package of measures to improve Swindon’s road network.

The £3.2m programme of work includes the scheme to deliver a Quality Bus Corridor between Wichelstowe and the town centre.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “On Monday, the second phase of work will begin on the Tewkesbury Way approach to the roundabout.

“This will involve the relocation of BT cables and the removal of the traffic island which currently separates the bus lane from the rest of the traffic.

“In order to keep disruption to a minimum, the work is taking place now that the majority of the multi-million pound upgrade of Junction 16 of the M4 has taken place.”

The first phase of the improvements has already been completed with the successful removal of the Wootton Bassett Road bus lane between the Mannington roundabout and the railway bridge, while motorists may have noticed the removal of vegetation close to the Mannington Retail Park, which had to be completed before the start of the bird-nesting season.

Once the traffic island is removed, the bus lane will be shortened, providing additional stacking space for motorists on the approach to the roundabout and reducing queuing along Tewkesbury Way.

The whole east-bound carriageway will be resurfaced between the roundabout and the start of the bus lane.

Speaking when the plans where agreed in November last year, Jim Robbins, Labour’s ward councillor for Mannington and Western, said: “I’m cautiously optimistic that this will help alleviate some of the traffic issues. It will certainly help bus journey times.

“Anything that we can do to support people to use public transport rather than cars can only help ease congestion in the area.”

It is anticipated the work, which will take place between 9.30am and 3.30pm, will take up to 10 weeks to complete and drivers are asked to allow a little extra time for their journeys.

The third phase of improvements is planned to take place during the summer and will see changes made to the Fish Brothers section of the roundabout in order to improve the traffic flow from Great Western Way into Wootton Bassett Road.

Further details of the work will be available in the coming months.

The final phase of work will be based at the Mannington Retail Park and is anticipated to begin next January after the main Christmas and New Year period has finished.

A new merging on-slip lane will be created from the retail park onto Great Western Way to reduce the amount of traffic using Mannington Roundabout

The slip lane into the retail park will also be extended, providing extra queuing capacity.