A PROJECT to ease congestion at a key commuter route will be delayed by another six months.

Cow Lane bridge will revert to two-way in July after a substantial project to ease congestion and allow larger vehicles to pass through.

The full opening of the new Cow Lane has had to be delayed by up to six months due to complications with drainage and ground works.

The former 'bottleneck' will be transformed as part of a joint scheme between Reading Borough Council and Network Rail.

Contractors are expected to move to the junction with Cardiff Road to complete the realignment works on May 21 and temporary lights will remain in place under the bridge until the project is completed.

The site, which has been one-way since December, has been the subject of horrendous delays and this project means that traffic lights will no longer be needed.

There will also be a new dedicated route for both pedestrians and cyclists and double-decker buses will be able to use the road for the first time.

Councillor Tony Page, deputy leader and head of Transport for Reading Borough Council, said: "The current one-way working has caused enormous frustrations.

"This brings to an end the one-way arrangements which have been in place since December and the associated diversions that have been in place for road users travelling southbound.

“As with any project of this size, there is always a risk of delays due to a number of unknown factors and it is unfortunate Network Rail has encountered a number of issues which have delayed the project, which will now be complete by early next year."

Contractors have struggled to complete the project in full due to issues with ground conditions, which means there are more delays ahead for drivers.

Cardiff Road will be closed at the junction with Cow Lane from May 21 for up to six weeks, in addition to the one-way restriction underneath the northern rail bridge on Cow Lane.

Steve Coe, senior programme manager at Network Rail, added:“The project has had to overcome a number of significant issues which have materialised through the course of this major improvement work.

"Significant delays have been incurred that have required investigation, design change and additional temporary works to enable construction to proceed safely.

"We are working with our contractor to minimise the impact and would like to thank people for their patience whilst the works are ongoing.”