TRAVELLERS who have pitched up alongside the series of roadworks by Worcester's notorious Southern Link Road are not causing further disruption for motorists.

Several caravans parked up off the A4440 Broomhall Way soon after the major year-long plan to revamp the A38 Ketch roundabout and duel the length of the carriageway towards the Norton roundabout on one of Worcestershire's busiest routes began in earnest on Sunday, April 27.

However, their presence has not hindered progress on the £8million scheme which aims to cut congestion and journey times while almost doubling the size of the Ketch roundabout.

A spokesman for Worcestershire County Council said: "We are aware of the traveller encampment that is on the side of the A4440. The encampment is on privately owned land and it is not currently having any impact on the works that are being carried out on the A4440.

"The county council has no authority to deal with encampments on privately owned land, but we have notified the landowner."

Excavation, removal and surfacing of the current roundabout and splitter islands will be taking place over the next few weeks.

Existing lighting columns will also be replaced with new tower lights, which are being positioned to reduce any impact to neighbouring properties in the St Peter's area of the city.

While this work takes place the width of lanes will be reduced with every effort being made to keep any disruption to motorists to a minimum.

Originally built in the 1980s, the Southern Link Road is one of the most heavily used in the county and the predicted growth in travel is expected to result in a 30 to 40 per cent increase in journey times if nothing was done to the Powick to Whittington section of the route by 2026.

The journey currently takes around 13-and-a-half minutes during the morning rush-hour periods.

The longer term vision, identified in the Worcestershire's Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), which is now with Central Government under consideration for funding would see the entire length of the route dual-tracked from Powick island through to the Whittington Roundabout, including the Carrington Bridge section.