WORK has begun on the first phase of a multi-million pound roundabout on an accident blackspot.

Highways England has announced work is starting on the roundabout at Hare Green on the A120.

Preliminary work started in October, which involved the clearing of vegetation on the road.

But phase one, which is expected to last until the end of May, will see drainage runs built and work to join the minor roads.

There will be overnight closure on the westbound carriageway next month and from then onwards there will be no turning from Harwich Road onto the A120.

Roads campaigners have welcomed the work, which comes after calls for action to make the danger spot safer.

A report released by Highways England revealed there have been 23 recorded collisions causing 52 casualties - with three of those being fatal - in the past five years.

It also stated the majority of collisions have involved right turn manoeuvres to or from side roads.

Ward councillor Fred Nicholls said: "I'm thrilled that we have seen such significant works taking pace, really pleased.

"I'm sure all the local residents will join me in saying thank you to what has happened so far.

"We now wait for the final result."

The new two lane roundabout is being built on the A120 junction with Harwich Road.

Highways England project manager Geoff Chatfield said: “Safety is a top priority for Highways England, and once complete, this roundabout will help to make the road safer for drivers on the A120.

“Three people have died and a further 68 been hurt at this junction in recent years, so it’s vital that we work to reduce those numbers as no amount of crashes or casualties are acceptable.

"This new roundabout will also improve the A120 as a whole, benefitting not just the 12,000 vehicles a day that use this stretch near Harwich but also the 15,000 that use the length of the road.”

Work will be done largely off the road in the first phase, with two-way traffic lights on Harwich Road.

The second phase is expected to start at the end of May when a lane will be closed in each direction during works.

The roundabout is due to be completely finished by the end of the year.