MOTORISTS are facing roadworks misery in the new year as the M5 roadworks moves to Junction 6, and the Sixways roundabout.

The work is expected to start on the site in January, with Highways England saying it will be completed "by the end of 2018".

Details of the disruption, including the inevitable lane closures, is yet to be finalised but Highways England promises to keep "disruption to a minimum".

The work is the next phase of improvement work on the county section of the M5, which has already included 5, 7 and 1 and 2.

Highways England says it appreciates there has already been a significant amount of roadworks in the region in recent years, and is thanking people for their patience.

But it stresses the work is part of an important period of investment that will benefit commuters in the long term with improved journey times, reduced congestion at Junction 6 and roads locally.

Highways England senior project manager, Jessica Kenny, said: “Work at junction 6 is due to get under way in the new year and will improve journeys for thousands of motorists, as well as improve safety and support local and wider economic growth.

“As part of the scheme we’ll increase capacity by widening the roundabout, the slip roads and all the approaches.

"We’ll also add an extra lane to the roundabout and put traffic signals on the A449 approach.”

Worcester MP Robin Walker has previously raised concerns with Highways England on the M5 roadworks, particularly the length of time it takes to complete work.

Mr Walker said: "It is good news in the sense I can't fault them for wanting to upgrade the junction and roundabout.

"But what we need to make sure of is the work is done as quickly as possible, with the minimum amount of disruption.

"At some point, presumable, the junction will need to close - it is important they communicate.

"They need to make the work a priority."

Councillor Alan Amos, Worcestershire County Council's cabinet member with responsibility for highways said: "We need the improvements to the junction and roundabout - it is important for investment locally. 

"But I want a finish date well before next Christmas. I have asked our officers to go to Highways England to stress this."

Worcester City councillor Alan Feeney said: "This in my council ward and the queues to this junction are frequently horrendous, as I know from sitting in them.

"Yes there will be disruption while the works go on but the long term benefits will be far better than we have now."