VITAL work to improve the M5 near Worcester, which is a year behind schedule, will finally be completed next month, says Highways England.

The work at Junction 6 started in April 2018 and was initially scheduled to be finished in winter 2018-19, but the completion date was then put back to autumn 2019, and then again pushed back – with February 2020 now the target.

Engineers carrying out the work were forced to delay it after “unsuitable ground conditions” which included flooding underneath the road, requiring extra work.

Highways England senior project manager, Jessica Kenny, said: “We appreciate that roadworks can be frustrating. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused and would like to thank people for their patience.

“We completed the majority of work and removed roadworks on the roundabout before Christmas. We’ve widened the approaches to the roundabout from two lanes to three, which will provide extra capacity and will support economic growth and reduce congestion.

“Unfortunately, the scheme has taken longer than anticipated due to unforeseen challenges early in the scheme including poor ground conditions and additional groundwater.

“We’re aiming to complete the remaining works overnight works in the coming weeks.”

Worcester MP Robin Walker said he is having a meeting with Highways England to discuss solutions and get an update on the work.

He said: “The work is massively over-schedule and I have written to the Department of Transport asking them about what can be done.

“I am having a meeting with Highways England - they are coming to see me to talk through what they are doing to get it done, it sounds like it is very very nearly finished.

“It is incredibly frustrating as it is a crucial road for thousands of commuters so it will be vital when it is opened.”

The work on M5 Junction 6 is designed to improve the capacity and access to the motorway and the surrounding areas such as Warndon. The roadworks have caused significant traffic delays.

A spokesman for Highways England said that, given the significant rainfall towards the end of 2019, they were unable to make as much progress as planned in completing all the work before Christmas.

READ MORE: More motorway misery as M5 J6 work continues