THE next phase of £1m worth of improvement works is set to begin in Brierley Hill next week (August 8).

An upgrade to the existing pedestrian crossing in Level Street is to be carried out in this phase of the works, along with work at the junctions of Level Street and Central Way and finally of Level Street, Pedmore Road, Hurst Lane.

During the works, there will be lane closures, temporary traffic lights and a closure to the access to Central Way from Level Street - for approximately 10 weeks.

The projects are likely to cause delays to traffic as work progresses. However, once complete, customers should expect to see significant improvements in journey times.

So far work has been completed at several junctions in Dudley, Sedgley and Cradley, leaving just several sites outside Merry Hill and one in Cradley to undertake to complete the programme.

Councillor Shaz Saleem, Dudley's cabinet member for public realm, said: "Congestion on our roads is a big problem across the region. Traffic speeds in the West Midlands are 15 per cent slower than the national average and we are the fifth most congested metropolitan area in the UK.

"We’ve already rolled out much of the programme, and we will be able to begin the next phase in Brierley Hill during the quieter summer holiday period.

"We know road improvements often cause delay to road users and we ask people to bear with us during this short period while we improve roads for the long term.

"By significantly improving the performance of traffic lights in key locations it will allow us to use new technologies to improve traffic flow, reduce emissions and significantly curtail energy usage."

Dudley Council was awarded a grant of more than £1 million for a scheme to improve traffic flow on bottleneck roads across the borough.

The funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), will be used to improve the performance of traffic lights on several busy roads.

The work in Brierley Hill will complement existing work in and around the town centre as part of the government’s Future High Streets Fund.

Council chiefs hope the schemes will improve access to Merry Hill and Brierley Hill town centre and reduce queuing traffic.