MOTORISTS were today bracing themselves for the start of a winter of roadworks misery at one of the main gateways into Southampton.

Major repairs are due to start today on the crumbling Redbridge Roundabout at the bottom of the M271 motorway, which has been plagued by work in recent years.

Council bosses have apologised in advance for any inconvenience caused to commuters and have warned the work will have a “high impact on traffic”.

The roundabout carries 60,000 vehicles a day, or around 20 million a year, and is seen as vital to the city economy.

The work will involve replacing the road surface and upgrading drains. It will be done during the day and at night. Partial day closures of the west bound slip lanes will be required for kerb works, the council said.

The first phase starts today and will run for four weeks. Most of the initial work will be on the drainage.

After a Christmas break repairs will resume in February for final resurfacing work which will take until the end of April.

The council has promised that there will be “no significant further maintenance” for years.