TRAFFIC backed up until late at night after new roadworks started at one of the town’s major hotspots.

The congestion was around the Moonrakers roundabout on Cricklade Road on the border of Upper Stratton and Penhill.

Months of work costing £2.8m has begun to remove the double mini-roundabout at the crossroads of Cricklade Road running north to south and Whitworth Road to its west and Beechcroft Road to the east.

But the temporary lights installed to control traffic for the lights seemed to have caused drivers trouble – with pictures of traffic tailbacks and a string of comments posted on a community Facebook group after 10pm on Wednesday night.

It was suggested that the real problem was the closure of the A419 for work driving traffic onto Cricklade Road but others said that had not caused any problems at the Moonrakers’ junction until that evening.

Others complained about the noise and the fumes of queuing traffic coming into their home’s on a warm summer’s evening

Swindon Borough Council admitted there had been problem – and asked drivers to avoid the area tonight (Thursday).

A spokesman said: “We saw some tailbacks as a result of our three-day overnight works to remove the existing islands around the Moonrakers’ junction before we start building the improved junction.

“Tonight is the last night of the overnight work and we expect there may be disruption again, so please avoid the Moonrakers junction if you can.

“While delays aren’t ideal, our contractors have been able to keep the road open to allow some traffic through. The alternatives were a full closure, or extended daytime work, which would have been worse for motorists.

“The junction will be back to normal on Friday morning if all goes to plan and this initial work is completed. The removed islands will be replaced with cones for now, so please make sure to keep an eye out for them when using the junction.”

When the work is complete in spring next year the roundabouts will be removed and the junction will be light controlled, with a dedicated left turn into Beechcroft Road from the northern reach of Cricklade Road.

There will also be a bus and cycle lanes into the junction from Chestnut Grove.