A ONE million-pound scheme to improve a major Southampton road starts today.

Drivers are bracing themselves for 18 weeks of disruption as part of a four-month project to upgrade the A335 Stoneham Way - one of the busiest routes in and out of the city.

But Southampton City Council and Balfour Beatty are vowing to do everything they can to minimise disruption.

Lane restrictions will be limited to off-peak periods and engineers will work “day and night” to ensure the scheme is completed as quickly as possible.

Stoneham Way will be improved between its junctions with Wide Lane and Thomas Lewis Way.

New traffic signals will be installed to improve vehicle flows between the city and the airport.

The scheme will also see the completion of a new section of the Southampton Cycle Network, the SCN8, which will enhance cycle and pedestrian links between Mansbridge and the University of Southampton.

Traffic signals at Bassett Green Road and Wessex Lane will be upgraded to give buses priority.

Cllr Jacqui Rayment, cabinet member for transport and place at Southampton City Council, said: “Encouraging and promoting sustainable and active travel is a key commitment in our Green City Charter.

“Investing in projects to improve the safety and attractiveness of busy routes for people walking and cycling is an important part of this.

The four-phase project is due to be completed in December.