Early work to create a new roundabout and get rid of a traffic "pinch-point" will start next week in High Wycombe - with two weekend closures planned next month.

Early preparations to realign Abbey Barn Lane and build a new roundabout junction with Kingsmead Road will start on Monday, January 20.

Council chiefs say the work will help the road network deal with increasing traffic, and serve new housing estates on two former reserve sites - one for the 140 homes planned at the northern end of Abbey Barn and one for around 500 homes, being built by Berkeley Homes further south.

It also aims to get rid of a pinch-point where the narrow Abbey Barn Lane crosses an old railway bridge and takes a sharp bend to an acute-angled junction.

Investigation work by Bucks County Council contractors Galliford Try starts on Monday and is set to continue until mid-February.

It will involve boreholes to check geology and road foundations, and include surveys of utilities and drains.

Mark Shaw, deputy leader and transport cabinet member, said the county council would co-ordinate the investigations by Galliford Try with other work being done by Berkeley Homes, and dovetail them with litter-picking by Wycombe District Council.

While work is being done, Abbey Barn Lane will be closed for two weekends - from 8pm Friday to 5am Monday, from February 7 to 9 and February 14 to 17.

"I do understand the two weekend closures will cause some inconvenience, and I apologise for this in advance," said Mark. "However, this is a great opportunity to invest in our roads by exploring how to get rid of an awkward junction, and help to improve traffic flow."

Mark explained the planned project was at the preliminary design stage, and the ground investigations were needed so designers and engineers can plan a road on one of Wycombe's challenging steep slopes and minimise impact on the surrounding environment.

Once the ground investigation work results are known, the realignment route can be confirmed, detailed designs drawn up, public consultation arranged, and a planning application submitted around the end of the year.

The £11.5 million cost of the project is being met from developer contributions and the government's Housing Infrastructure Fund.