A MAJOR project to replace St Mary's Roundabout with traffic light junctions is due to start this month — and will take nearly 15 months to finish.

Island Roads and the Isle of Wight Council announced today (Tuesday) the work was due to start on September 30 and finish in mid-December next year.

The aim of the work — part of a wider project to remodel the road layout from Asda to Camp Hill, funded by a £9.6 million government grant — is to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion in Newport, and improve access for pedestrians and cyclists.

The first phase is due to start on September 30 and will last for 25 days. It will include the widening of the Dodnor Lane carriageway and B&Q roundabout.

Phase two will implement a one-way restriction on Forest Road, eastbound, allowing SSE to start work.

The third phase, taking up to 35 days, will start the physical changes to St Mary's Roundabout, constructing carriageways and temporary crossovers for contraflow traffic.

The fourth, and final phase of 2019, will be implementing traffic management plans as work will stop for the Christmas break from December 20.

Roadworks will also be temporarily halted during the Isle of Wight Festival next June.

The council has advising road users that work will cause disruption — particularly until motorists become accustomed to the temporary traffic arrangements.

In return, the council has offered free afternoon parking on weekends in its Newport town car parks, during the run-up to Christmas, as well as Cowes Floating Bridge saver cards allowing discounted travel.

Cllr Ian Ward, the cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, said: “The St Mary’s junction scheme has been a complex scheme to put together as we have had to acquire some land in order to include features such as the shared use footway.

“We have also made significant changes to the scheme in response to suggestions made during the public consultation.

“We have been assured that a traffic-light controlled junction will have more capacity for vehicle movements than a roundabout.

“But we are now set to begin this major scheme to improve traffic flows both now and in the future at what is a notoriously busy junction.

“I am particularly pleased that the work will also bring about enhanced features not just for cars but also for local bus traffic, pedestrians and cyclists.”

David Evans, strategic manager for highways and transport, said: “During construction there will be various temporary traffic arrangements so work can be undertaken as quickly and safely as possible.

“Traffic lanes will be reduced temporarily, and contraflows introduced as well as short-term speed reductions. Road users will inevitably experience delays and should allow additional time for their journeys."

Double yellow lines will also be introduced to Manners View and Riverway for the duration of the scheme.

Residents living near the works have received letters about the schemes and the council said they would continue to get updates.