MOTORISTS have complained about traffic 'chaos' as a roundabout is converted to a new junction.

In June 2018 Cumbria County Council began work on a £4.5million overhaul of the 110-year-old Jubilee Bridge which includes converting the roundabout at the Barrow end to traffic lights.

The new lights form part of a traffic management plan requirement imposed after BAE was granted planning permission for its £300m site redevelopment.

Work to replace the roundabout is on track and is expected to be completed by Christmas.

However, now the physical structure of the roundabout has been removed, cones have been put in place to manage traffic and motorists say the two lanes at the Barrow end of the bridge 'suddenly become one' which is causing tailbacks.

Motorcyclist Alan Williamson, who lives on Walney, said: "It's absolute chaos; people don't realise it becomes one lane until the very end so you've got two lanes of traffic suddenly becoming one.

"At peak times, like when the shipyard shifts start and finish, it's causing tailbacks all the way along the bridge."

A spokesman for Cumbria County Council said the disruption was a 'necessary but temporary' feature.

They said: "We do apologise to motorists who have experienced delays but it is an inevitable, albeit temporary consequence, of the works which are necessary in order to progress the project."

Speaking earlier in the year, Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council's cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “The county council is investing millions of pounds in these highway schemes which will make a real difference to Barrow’s road network.

"We believe the road junction improvements will support growth at BAE Systems and the Port and play a significant role in helping the town to prosper.”

The work to convert the roundabout at the end of Jubilee Bridge to traffic lights is being funded by BAE Systems in response to growing traffic volume and the need to transport heavy loads around the yard's site.

It also formed part of a £1.5m investment from the county council for junction improvements on a number of roads in Barrow.

In the final part of the works there is also likely to be some overnight road closures.