WORK that will pave the way for major improvements to a key West Swindon commuter route will start in a fortnight.

Widening of the northbound carriageway of Mead Way is expected to start in the autumn but trees and vegetation need to be removed so the extra lane can be built.

Last month road users and local businesses had a chance to see the borough council's proposals for the road and make their views known.

Maureen Penny, cabinet member for highways and the environment, said: “We received some really good feedback from the two drop-in events we held on the Mead Way improvement scheme last month and we are currently analysing the suggestions to see if there are any improvements we can make the detailed designs.

“This next phase is a necessary part of the work so we can get everything in place for the scheme to start later in the year. We have attempted to minimise the disruption for local people and commuters by carrying out the site clearance work outside of peak hours and I would ask that people who need to travel to west Swindon to allow a little bit of extra time for their journeys while this work is carried out.”

Clearance starts on March 4 and runs until March 12, closing the road between the Meads roundabout and Westmead daily between 9.30am and 3.30pm. Diversions will be in place.

The council’s grounds maintenance team will also use the closure to cut back vegetation on the traffic island at The Meads roundabout.

Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to use the footway/cycleway under the management of the tree surgeons on site.

Detailed designs are currently being finalised but, under the scheme, two northbound lanes would be created on Mead Way between The Meads roundabout on Great Western Way and Withymead roundabout.

Westmead roundabout would be removed and replaced with a signal junction in an effort to reduce congestion.

The council said that by creating extra capacity northbound on Mead Way it would not only help to reduce queuing traffic on the road itself, but would also allow more vehicles to enter and exit The Meads roundabout.

It explained the half a kilometre of extra lane on Mead Way would provide capacity for around 100 additional cars, improving journey times for people travelling northbound. Traffic modelling also showed that adding signals to the Westmead roundabout, would improve southbound journey times during the morning rush hour.

Dualling Mead Way in both directions was not included in the scheme due to the constraints of the highway boundary and the high cost of buying the land.