MOTORISTS are bracing themselves for lengthy delays as a major engineering project gets under way along one of the conurbation's busiest roads next week.

BCP Council is starting five months of roadworks along Wallisdown Road from Monday, August 19.

The project is phase one of the council's Wallisdown Improvement Works, which will eventually see new crossings, resurfacing, upgraded bus laybys and widened footpaths.

Cllr Andy Hadley, cabinet portfolio holder for transport and infrastructure, said: "BCP Council is committed to improving the roads and transport links across all three towns.

"Wallisdown Road is one of the main routes connecting our area and the surface is worn out. it is vital that we undertake these works to ease traffic flow and provide enhanced bus and cycle links and pedestrian paths, catering for all who use it.

"These initial improvements will start an important programme of works, creating a more accessible route for the future.”

However, not everyone shares the councillors enthusiasm for the project.

Delivery driver Adrian Mcleod said: "This has been coming, but it is a route I use a lot as a driver. I understand why they are doing it when they are, in the holidays so the school run isn't taking place, but it is still going to impact motorists.

"The traffic issues in and around Bournemouth, with the Twin Sails out and work on the Wessex Way, do make it a tough place to get in and out of."

Meanwhile another motorist told the Daily Echo: "This is not the best news, I don't see a lot wrong with Wallisdown Road anyway. Why create more problems?"

A council spokesman said Wallisdown Improvement Works form part of BCP Council's "ongoing commitment to improve transport links across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole" and that "the proposed improvements form part of BCP Council’s Local Transport Plan and will bring about easier, safer and more attractive travel options for those travelling in and around Wallisdown Road."

Wallisdown Road is a key commuter route used by 24,000 vehicles every day.

Last year more than 3,000 people had their say on traffic issues in the area, and according to the council, improved road conditions, new cycle routes and improved pedestrian access were high on the public agenda.

The improvements are being funded through additional government funding from the Local Transport Plan (LTP) capital programme, the National Productivity Investment Fund and Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal Fund.

During the works – which include widening the existing southern footway to four metres to provide a shared cycle facility, and resurfacing of the footpaths and preparatory work for carriageway resurfacing – the road will remain open with traffic signals in place at all times.

BCP Council is also developing a programme of work which will see future improvements take place at Boundary Roundabout and Wallisdown Crossroads. Both schemes are currently being worked into design options and will be launched later in the year with construction planned for April 2020.