Work to transform Junction 16 of the M4 is due to start later this summer after the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) approved the scheme, subject to final due diligence, and agreed to pay £5.92 million towards the cost of the scheme at its board meeting on the 11th May.

The construction costs are expected to be approximately £10 million and will be funded by Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Wichelstowe Joint Venture.

The work will see the roundabout altered and slip roads widened. The traffic signals will also be replaced and improvements will be made to the junction’s drainage.

The motorway junction redesign is a requirement of the outline planning permission for the major housing development at nearby Wichelstowe and needs to be completed before the 1,100th property on the Wichelstowe site is occupied.

The upgrade seeks to ensure the junction can cope with forecast future traffic levels and cater for future development in the surrounding areas.

A contractor for the work is expected to be appointed in the coming weeks with the project anticipated to be completed by Spring 2018.

Approximately 5,500 vehicles an hour currently use Junction 16 at morning and evening peak times and this is expected to rise by more than 50 per cent over the coming years.

The Labour Group’s Shadow Lead for Strategic Planning & Transport, Councillor Jim Robbins, said:

“This work was agreed between the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the government a number of years ago. With new traffic due to come from the Wichelstowe development, Swindon Council and the LEP felt that Junction 16 needed to be redesigned to mitigate the effects of the extra traffic.

I sincerely hope this work can be more successful than other major highways projects like Bruce Street bridges and can be done on time.”