FIVE months of major roadworks are due to start next week at the roundabout above the M5 at Junction 23.

Work will begin on the upgrade at Dunball on Monday, October 2 and is expected to last through until February next year.

The work will be carried out by the Somerset Infrastructure Alliance, a joint venture between Bridgwater firm R K Bell Group Ltd, Skanska and Bristol-based Forest Traffic Management Limited and funded by EDF as part of £20m of infrastructure investment linked with Hinkley C.

EDF say the work is designed to better manage traffic flow and reduce congestion. Works will include the installation of new traffic lights on each of the access and exit routes.

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EDF is carrying out the improvements as part of a package of works associated with its Hinkley Point C project, which also includes park and ride and freight management facilities at Junction 23 and Junction 24 alongside the M5 and other park and rides near Williton in West Somerset and Cannington near Bridgwater.

Earlier this month, around 300 spaces were opened at the Junction 23 park and ride, a facility which will eventually cater for more than 1,000 workers who will travel to and from the Hinkley Point C site by bus.

“It’s all part of our commitment to minimise the impact on the local community by reducing the number of vehicles on the roads and helping to improve traffic flow in and around Bridgwater,” said David Eccles, EDF Energy’s head of stakeholder engagement for Hinkley Point C.

Both the park and ride and the roundabout upgrade at Junction 23 are expected to be completed by spring 2018.

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Mr Eccles added: “We know there is never a good time to carry out roadworks but we have timed these to make the best use of what is typically a quieter time of year for commuting and holiday traffic.

“While there will be traffic management in place, works have been planned as sensitively as possible in order to avoid delays for motorists but we would like to apologise if these do cause disruption for some drivers.

“Work will be paused during the day of Bridgwater Carnival and we are planning to work 24/7 to ensure the upgrade is finished as soon as possible.”