WORK to reduce congestion at a busy junction on the A1(M) is scheduled to begin today, weather permitting.

The Highways Agency is introducing traffic lights to operate at peak times at the Bowburn interchange, junction 61, just south of Durham City.

Andrew Jennings, project sponsor for the Highways Agency, said: "This work will bring improvements for drivers using this junction which, at peak times, suffers from congestion.

"Once the work is completed, it should improve traffic flow and reduce the possibility of queuing back onto the main A1(M) carriageway.

"As part of the scheme, existing road markings will also be changed and a new road surface laid on the approaches to the traffic lights."

The work, costing £225,000, will take seven weeks to complete and, during this period, there will be lane restrictions on the A1(M) northbound and southbound slip roads, as well as on the roundabout at the interchange connecting with the A177 and the B6291 roads.

Mr Jennings said these measures were being taken for the safety of both drivers and the workforce.

The installation of the traffic lights will take place during the day, but all other works will be carried out at night in order to minimise disruption and delays for motorists.

New signs will be put in place on the approach to the roundabout to warn oncoming traffic of the introduction of the lights.