COMMUTERS in Gloucester are fearing the worst over roadworks at two of the city’s busiest junctions, which begin on Monday.
New traffic light systems, additional lanes and widened roads will be installed as part of a £3.1million scheme to improve the Walls and C&G roundabouts at the A38 and A417 in Barnwood.
Roadworks at Walls roundabout will begin on Monday and are set to finish in July, while the renovation of the C&G roundabout will begin in June and will be completed either later this year or in 2015.
The roundabouts are often gridlocked during peak times since new businesses opened on the Barnwood business park. Jamie Fisher, who runs Fisher’s School of Motoring, said: “In rush hour the roads can just be absolute mayhem. I can see this problem getting much worse before it gets better.
“I feel sorry for the people who have to work or drive through the area.”
A commuter based in Longford said: “With this work the roads in the area will be total chaos. On most mornings we cannot get out of our driveway, and it takes us up to 20 minutes to go 150 yards.
“Other people will have to go to work early or find another way in, but I can’t see how we will cope as there are no alternative routes.”
The scheme will be paid for with £2.2million of government funding, with the balance to be shared between contributions from Gloucestershire County Council and Sainsbury’s supermarkets.
Lynda Newman, from the Freeway School of Motoring, said: “It would take me around 50 minutes to drive from Longlevens to Quedgeley to see my daughter during rush hour. I just don’t bother driving in that time as I know the congestion will be bad.
“The work needs doing though so we’ll just have to bear with it while it’s being done.”
A team of trained travel advisors are currently calling door-to-door in Gloucester to promote walking, cycling, car-sharing and using public transport as alternatives to single-occupancy car travel.
Councillor Will Windsor Clive, cabinet member for planning and infrastructure, said: “This work forms part of our wider plans to improve the transport system in the county over the next few years. We understand the contribution investing in our roads makes to the economic prosperity of the county.
“Whilst we are doing our best to minimise the inconvenience, some travel disruption is inevitable. I urge people who need to use these roundabouts to think about their travel choices as there are alternatives to consider. Please bear with us while the improvements are made. ”