COMMUTERS could face a year of delays as major roadworks to reduce congestion in and out of a town centre are due to start.

Darlington Borough Council is to carry out a number of improvements along Yarm Road in a bid to cut traffic congestion and allow access to the proposed Ingenium Parc development off Salters Lane North.

The roundabout connecting Yarm Road with McMullen Road will be reconfigured to provide two lane approaches on all roads leading off it, and the roundabout will also be widened to provide two full lanes of circulation, increasing the number of vehicles that can use it at any one time.

Additional work will also be carried out on the Yarm Road junction with Lingfield Way, creating a new junction with traffic lights for access to and from the Yarm Road Industrial Estate.

The junction, opposite the Cummins factory, is a known pinch point for motorists attempting to leave the town centre during evening rush hour.

Work on the roundabout is already underway, although the main construction work is not due to start until the end of April.

It is expected to last until February 2019.

This will then be followed by the work to the Lingfield Way junction, which is expected to be completed in the autumn of next year.

Councillor Nick Wallis, cabinet member for leisure and local environment, described the congestion in the town as the "difficulties of success".

"We cannot take away all of the congestion," he said.

"Our success in securing millions of pounds in funding to support these road improvements means that we can make changes that will have a real positive impact for all transport users.

"As Darlington continues to thrive economically and opportunities for new jobs and housing continue to emerge, we need to update our infrastructure to manage the traffic they will create, as well as providing more options to walk, cycle or use public transport to get about.

"These works will be disruptive but I hope residents will see the clear benefits that improvements to this area will bring for the whole town."

Last year, the council revealed it will replace the town's “through-about”, which links the Eastern Transport Corridor with Haughton Road, with a conventional roundabout.