DRIVERS heading out of Swindon towards Reading and London are facing a month of disruption as work to resurface a section of the M4 started yesterday.
The Highways Agency has begun work which it hopes will give drivers a smoother ride, but it means closing a key section of the road.
Hardest hit will be those heading east of Swindon in the evening, who will be diverted through Marlborough and then Eddington to reach junction 14.
The first section of work is being carried out on the eastbound carriageway between junctions 14 and 15 and is expected to be completed by the middle of May.
Although much of the work will take place at night, drivers will face a number of lane closures during the period the work is taking place.
However, the bulk of the disruption will be from May 6 until 13, when the eastbound carriageway between these two junctions will be closed entirely between 10pm and 6am.
The junction is served by approximately 87,000 vehicles a day so while the closure will miss out the bulk of the traffic, the diversion route will take longer.
The reason being given for the £700,000 works is to increase the longevity of the road while improving safety for drivers.
Guy Watts, Highways Agency Project Sponsor, said: “The work on the M4 will involve the complete resurfacing of the road with new material and recycling the old surface.
“This will help to maintain safety and provide drivers with an improved road surface.
“We have planned to work so that disruption for drivers is minimised as much as possible.
“This means that work will take place overnight, from Monday to Friday only, with lane closures in place where possible or road closures and a clearly signed diversion route in place when the road is closed.”
During the works, drivers are being asked to make sure extra time is taken into account when planning for journeys.
When the section of motorway is closed a diversion is being put in place, although this will take longer. Drivers will have to go down the A346 into Marlborough, along the A4 and then up the A338.
Once this is completed, work will take place further along the M4, at junctions 10, 11 and 12 throughout May and into June.
The Highways Agency has advised drivers to take these works into account as well.