A long-awaited relief road to cut congestion in Beaconsfield Old Town has been given the green light "in principle".

Wilton Park developers Inland Homes have already completed phase one of their section of the A355 relief road, which runs from the A40 Pyebush Roundabout to Minerva Way.

Buckinghamshire County Council’s £6.05 million northern section of the road has now been given a "principle" go-ahead at the council's development control committee meeting this week.

The plans have been sent to secretary of state Michael Gove for approval because the route cuts across an area of Green Belt land.

Transport bosses said the new stretch of road will relieve traffic congestion at the London End roundabout, with the half mile (900m) northern section from a new roundabout on Maxwell Road linking the southern section built by Inland Homes.

The A355, which runs from Beaconsfield to Amersham, regularly causes chaos for commuters who get caught up in rush hour delays caused by ‘bottlenecks’ forming at a number of junctions along the road.

The new relief road will see around 800 vehicles travelling southbound in the morning along the existing A355 being diverted between 8am and 9am, and around 600 vehicles will be diverted northbound in the evening between 5pm and 6pm.

Balfour Beatty has been appointed by the county council to do the design work. Building work is expected to start early next year and be completed by March 2019.

Mark Shaw, deputy leader and cabinet member for transport, said: “I'm delighted we've reached this important milestone on our journey to reduce traffic congestion and improve life for residents and businesses.”