HIGHWAYS England does not expect to run over-budget on a £10million project to improve a city roundabout, despite delays.

The organisation said the original estimated total cost of the wider scheme to change junctions 5, 6 (Worcester) and 7 of the M5 was around £17million.

Catherine Brookes, regional director of Highways England, said that despite delays the project is expected to stay within this budget, thanks to a pot of money set aside for unforeseen circumstances.

She also addressed locals' complaints about the lack of visible workers at the junction 6 site by explaining that they are currently working at a lower level, installing retaining walls.

Ms Brookes said: “Because of how deep these excavations are in places people driving on the roundabout can’t see the level of activity. We are here and we are working.”

She added that on average 72 people are at the site every day.

Interserve, the project contractor, originally said the junction 6 construction work would cost around £10million - and Highways England does not think it will go over this amount.

The completion date of the congestion-busting project was recently pushed back from spring to autumn as a result of ground condition problems at junction 6.

Workers discovered that there was a layer of stone and unexpected water under the ground next to the M5 northbound off-slip and the A4440, where two retaining walls are due to be built.

The stone had not been found in a previous inspection of the soil.

These walls will hold up the granular material that will partly form - when topped with tarmac - some of the new lanes on the roundabout.

READ MORE: Worcester's MP was 'furious' about the works being delayed.