Work has started on a long-awaited relief road through Beaconsfield.

Contractors have started preliminary work on the northern section of the A355 relief road to check the land for any archaeological evidence before construction work starts in July.

The road, which was given a principle go-ahead last year, will run from a new roundabout at Maxwell Road, to link with a southern section being built by developer Inland Homes, from Pyebush Roundabout on the A40 to Minerva Way, on the emerging Wilton Park housing estate.

Bucks County Council (BCC) said only when artefacts have been recovered and logged, will construction start on the £6 million half-mile (940-metre) road.

BCC added that when completed in the summer of 2019, the new stretch will relieve congestion at London End roundabout and provide a more direct link for traffic bound for the M40 and Slough.

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.

Mark Shaw, deputy leader and transport cabinet member, said the plans had been scrutinised by community groups and other local stakeholders at an options workshop in 2016, from which feedback had helped shape the final scheme.

“This is an important milestone on our journey to reduce traffic congestion in Beaconsfield old town and improve life for residents and businesses.

“This is yet another major investment in Buckinghamshire’s roads, and I’m really pleased we’re moving ahead with the scheme.”

The relief road is one of Buckinghamshire County Council's high priority schemes with a £9.2 million budget, funded by £3.1 million from the Local Transport Board and a £6.05 million grant from the government’s local growth fund through Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP).

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.

Richard Harrington, BTVLEP chief executive, said: “We are delighted to see this BTVLEP supported road scheme commence, which aims to improve the resilience and performance of Buckinghamshire’s local highway network, and enhance strategic north/south connectivity for the county.

“Without these necessary improvements to road infrastructure there is a risk that the county could be put at a disadvantage in terms of transport access across the county and the knock effects to economic growth.”