MOTORISTS can breathe a deep sigh of relief as the Sidbury roadworks all but came to an end last night.

County cabinet member for highways Alan Amos thanked drivers and pedestrians for their patience throughout the near-three month project to replace out-dated traffic light signals.

The £2 million scheme, which also involved extending approach lanes and the installation of a new signal-controlled pedestrian crossing, has caused heavy tailbacks during peak times, started on June 17.

Councillor Amos said with the old signals being nearly 40 years old, they were long overdue an upgrade, as if they had broken down completely it would have caused “chaos”.

“I am a strong supporter of motorists and want to make life as easy as possible for them. Traffic will move more freely. If we can’t make more roads the least we can do is better manage the flow of vehicles,” he said.

Councillor Amos went on to say he found the criticism of the length of the disruptions frustrating.

“I have been down there most days and receive daily reports from officers. We have managed to do it as quickly as possible, on schedule and on budget, and during the school holiday period to minimise disruption.”

He said the scheme has been “carefully costed and planned” and feedback has been quickly implemented, for example making changes to diversions on Bath Road and Commandery Road on the first day.

“People turning right were blocking people turning left, and that was quickly put right. We were making changes on the ground all the time,” he said.

Some criticised the amount of workers on site, with many appearing to not actually be working, but Cllr Amos said they were doing numerous stages at the same time to cut down on disruption time.

“They were all doing different things. It was all carefully thought out,” he said.

The Primo and Deli Corporation premises, both in Sidbury, are currently on the market while a couple of other spaces in the area, including the old Games Workshop, are currently empty.

Cllr Amos said he hoped the works, which also include improvements to what is an “awkward” crossing, and “nicer” pavements, will help give Sidbury a boost.

There is still some minor resurfacing, kerbing and calibration to be completed.