MOTORISTS are bracing themselves for disruption after highways bosses announced major works to improve the safety of Black Dam roundabout are being planned this spring.

Highways England, the body responsible for the £11 million improvement works to the roundabout, says that following a review of the roundabout further improvement works to its road layout have been scheduled to take place within weeks.

The news follows recent research obtained by The Gazette that revealed the number of accidents on the roundabout had shot up since it reopened in February last year.

Since the regeneration work took place on the roundabout, figures showed that there were more accidents between its opening and June 2016 than the whole of 2014 – the year before work took place.

A spokesperson for Highways England said: “Safety is Highways England’s top priority and we monitor the safety record of our entire network.

“The new layout at Black Dam has reduced congestion and lowered journey times for thousands of residents and businesses in and around Basingstoke every day.

“It is standard practice to review safety following completion of any scheme. A review highlighted some further improvements that we are now carrying out.”

Highways England, the government-owned organisation responsible for managing the motorways and major roads in England, was unable to confirm when the work would take place.

However, in an email sent to a local resident seen by The Gazette, it states work has “been provisionally programmed to start on February 27 and will take about four weeks to complete”.

It adds: “We are currently in the process of designing safety improvements to the scheme, part of which are some alterations to the guidance markings on the roundabout circulatory to aid driver information and lane discipline.

“Further additional works (including the road marking installation) are currently planned for early 2017.”

Deputy leader of Basingstoke Labour group, Cllr Michael Westbrook said the lack of information about when the works would happen “is a nightmare considering the problems that happened in the past when it was first built.”

He added: “Residents have to be forewarned on when it is going to happen.

“Hopefully the works improves it because at the moment when coming around the roundabout or at the lights, there is no room for error.”