RUSH hour commuters should brace themselves for more traffic misery next week when new roadworks are set to clash with ongoing repairs on Wootton Bassett Road.

Over the last few days, drivers have faced gridlock at peak times along the A3102 as Thames Water repair a burst water main that closed the road back on January 2.

As part of the work, engineers have been forced to close the westbound lane heading towards Mannington roundabout and instead install three-way traffic lights at the junction of Redpost Drive. As a result, drivers have faced delays of 30 minutes to get through the jams from Great Western Way.

But to add to the annoyance of drivers, Wales & West Utilities are set to begin a seven-week project from Monday to replace piping along Park Lane and Rodbourne Road.

Councillor Mary Martin, Cabinet Member for Communities and Place, has warned the public that there will be some unavoidable new delays.

She said: “First we have Thames Water carrying out urgent repairs on Wootton Basset Road near the junction with Redpost Drive that will last into the following week. In addition to this, there Wales and West has scheduled gas maintenance works due to start in Park Lane/Rodbourne Road.

Councillor Martin added that she was trying to have the Rodbourne work postponed, but she is waiting for officers to confirm that this can be achieved without affecting road safety or causing excessive costs.

She said: “I would like to apologise in advance for any disruption this may cause. We all value our cars, but this may be a good time to check out our dedicated cycle paths and pedestrian routes, which would allow residents to avoid inconvenience.”

While the Wootton Bassett Road repairs are due to be completed by Wednesday, Thames Water have also apologised for the delays caused by the much-needed work.

“Having repaired the burst water main, we’re now in the process of making the road surface safe,” a spokesman said.

“We expect to complete our work by early next week, when we’ll be able to remove the temporary traffic lights.”

“The traffic management is necessary to allow our team to carry out this essential work safely. The team are now working to repair the road surface – if at times it looks like there is no work taking place, it will be because the team are waiting for the new layer of tarmac to cure.”

Residents in the Park Lane area should have all received letters regarding the seven-week pipe replacement work - something that Wales & West Utilities Programme Controller for Swindon, Mick Gallavin, believes will be worth it in the end.

He said: “We are due to start work next week to upgrade more than 500m of old metal gas pipes to new plastic ones in the Rodbourne Road area. This £65,000 investment work is essential to keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses – and make sure the gas network is fit for the future.

"Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we expect our work to take six weeks to complete

“In agreement with Swindon Borough Council, and so that road users, pedestrians and our colleagues are kept safe while we work, we will be switching off existing traffic management systems and using our own traffic lights to make sure the two-way traffic flow is maintained at all times at the junctions of Rodbourne Road, Park Lane, Dean Street and Church Place.

“Traffic lights will only be used as we work on the relevant road and for as short a time as possible.

“Working in areas like this is never easy, but we have worked with Swindon Borough Council to plan the best way to complete our work as safely and as quickly as possible, with minimal disruption for local people.”