PEOPLE travelling on the A342 between Rowde and Bromham will have to take an eight-mile diversion around Melksham while major road works take place.

The maintenance will be carried out in two phases over four weeks and is between the junction with Netherstreet to the junction with Cock Road in Rowde.

It includes the notorious bend to the north of Rowdeford School where three teenage boys from Chippenham died following a crash on New Year’s Eve in 2010 and where other accidents have happened.

The work involves drain-age repairs, new kerbing, footway repairs, road resurfacing, new highway signing and road markings.

On Tuesday, temporary traffic lights will be in place and a temporary speed limit of 30mph will apply. The road will be closed from May 21 to June 1, 9.30am–3.30pm.

Wiltshire Council’s consultants Mouchel said access for residents and businesses will be maintained during the road closure but say there may be some delays.

The diversion route for all through traffic from Devizes will be west on the A361 to Seend Fork, north west on the A365 to the Western Way roundabout, the A350 into Bank Street, Melksham, and the A3102 to Westbrook.

Jackie Bawden, chairman of Rowde Parish Council, welcomed the repair work but was concerned that the road closure would disrupt residents and businesses.

She said: “We are pleased that improvements will be made but hope disruption is kept to a minimum.”