DRIVERS travelling along the M48 can expect eight weeks of diversions, with some possible disruption, as work continues to remove the former toll plaza for the Severn Bridge.

Highways England has advised motorists to plan their journeys ahead of time, due to several carriageway closures scheduled for that period.

Hannah Milliner, Highways England's Severn Bridges general manager, said: “This is a significant step forward in creating our free-flowing motorway with a 70 miles per hour speed limit and we are working hard to keep the bridge open to drivers while we carry out this crucial work."

Work began earlier this week with a full closure of the westbound carriageway on the night of April 23.

A short diversion is now in place by which drivers are diverted off the M48 at the Junction 1 exit slip-road, and then returned to the road via the Junction 1 entry slip-road.

Highways England said the diversion was a 'tried and tested' route used when periods of high winds affected the bridge, but admitted the changes could cause some delays at busier travel times.

Another closure of the westbound carriageway is planned for the M48 Severn Bridge on Sunday, April 28, 7am-7pm.

This stage of roadworks, Highways England said, was to realign the carriageway and slip road, as well as upgrading kerbs, drainage, and safety fencing to ensure a safe driving route for the new 70mph speed limit which will be introduced over the bridge.

Carriageway resurfacing and the installation of technology would also take place, the firm added.

“We are encouraging drivers to consider using the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge to aid their journey during this period," Ms Milliner said.

"The minor diversion required at the M48 Junction 1 can cause some delays on weekday evenings and so we would ask people to plan ahead.

"We understand that this will have an impact on drivers and apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.”

The firm suggested upcoming concerts in Cardiff could cause added congestion on the road. The Spice Girls will perform in the city on May 27, followed by Take That on June 8.