JUST when drivers thought the end was in sight for Bromsgrove's gridlocked roads, a new scheme of year-long works to the M5 motorway has been announced, diverting yet more traffic through the town.

The £100million scheme, due to get underway at the end of this month, will repair the deteriorating viaduct at Oldbury, between junctions 1 and 2, and preparations needed for future works to the HS2 high-speed railway.

The roadworks are not expected to end until the autumn of 2018, with minor works continuing into springtime 2019.

Highways England plans to divert drivers an extra 20 miles via the M42 in Bromsgrove and introduce a 30mph contraflow system to manage traffic.

The announcement comes just weeks after Bromsgrove District Council leader Geoff Denaro promised an end to misery caused by existing M5 roadworks, which have allowed diverted traffic to flood the A38 overnight for more than a year.

Cllr Denaro and West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion have expressed 'major concerns' over the upcoming scheme, calling it 'unjustifiable'.

Mr Campion said: "Our communities have endured a lot of disruption recently, with the long period of roadworks on the M5 only just coming to an end.

"The proposals I have seen for these new works would impose another 12 months of strain on our communities, businesses and environment and this is not justifiable.

"I have major concerns about how our roads would cope with such huge additional volumes of traffic for so long.

“It seems clear that this issue should be owned and contained within Birmingham and the Black Country, but it currently feels like the problems that will be caused are being shunted to Worcestershire."

The works are predicted to impact around 60,000 journeys every day.

Cllr Denaro said: "I was deeply concerned to learn that Highways England having caused residents living along the A38 constant disruption and noise with the M5 project, are now implementing further disruption around Bromsgrove.

"Only last month I made reference at Council that normality should return soon, and that discussions would continue.

"Sadly, I see from Highways England website that they are planning to shunt 2 northbound lanes of the M5 at junction 4A onto the M42 with one lane heading into the Oldbury roadworks.

“Our colleagues at County Council Highways have been making representations about further disruption to Bromsgrove without success."

The council leader is also worried the works will 'seriously affect' the council's financial plans, as well as its ability to measure traffic flow.

But project manager Alistair Warnes said Highways England had 'no choice' but to go forward with the plans, due to the poor condition of Oldbury's viaduct.

He said: "We fully appreciate people’s frustrations and apologise to motorists and residents for the inconvenience.

“As the work takes place we need to balance the flow of traffic across the region in order to minimise wider disruption and that is why we’ve introduced these measures.

“In a perfect world we wouldn’t plan this so soon after the completion of other work on the M5 but there was no choice given the deterioration of the viaduct at Oldbury and future works needed for HS2.

“We’re doing everything possible to plan and manage the roadworks in order to keep traffic moving, minimise disruption and maximise safety.

“All we can do is ask for people’s continued patience. Motorists are urged to plan journeys in advance, allow extra time and consider alternative modes of transport, car sharing or working from home where possible.”