Roadworks in Mead way, which began in spring of 2020, are now expected to be finished in November.

That's a further slippage in just a week - it was only last Monday when the council's cabinet member for finance Keith Williams said the projected completion date was by the end of October.

Speaking to Swindon Borough Council's growing the economy overview and scrutiny committee the Conservative cabinet's member for strategic infrastructure and transport Gary Sumner said: "I am apologise profusely for this delay."

The council officer in charge of development and infrastructure Richard Bell had told members of the committee about the new expected completion date as the committee went through a list of major roads projects in the borough.

He said: "I can't say it's definitely November. I can't say the costs won't increase, but we are getting nearer the end and it's getting more likely."

Councillors from both Conservative and Labour groups were unhappy to hear of the further slippage.

Labour's Junab Ali said: "Will this ever be finished? It should have been weeks and it's been 18months.

"You can’t just keep blaming others for this - the residents of Swindon deserve better. this is becoming a laughing stock"

Committee chairman Russell Holland said: " We cannot do enough communications on this. It's a real problem for residents, there is deepening angst and it's becoming a real reputational problem for this council."

Coun Holland agreed that more could have been communicated - but emphasised that the delays were unavoidable.

"There have been a whole catalogue: there have been ecological delays caused by great crested newts, and this started within weeks of the first lockdown. Utility companies pulled their staff away, and they couldn't get them on to site because they stay in hotels and B and Bs and they were all closed.

"There's a strict order of moving utility cables; you can't move a gas main if it’s under electrical cabling until they're moved, but if they're under fibre cabling, that has to be moved first, but I know these delays are incredibly frustrating for those living nearby, local businesses and the many people who have been forced to seek an alternative route due to the road closure. It is not good enough."