THE first day of major roadworks along the A420 were described as a ‘nightmare’ by locals in Shrivenham yesterday.

Oxfordshire County Council has closed the Shrivenham bypass for seven weeks meaning up to 20,000 extra vehicles will now pass through the village.

Residents described the road as being blocked solid with traffic while some businesses said that trade had been affected.

Trucks weighing more than 8.5 tonnes were not supposed to be passing through Shrivenham and instead going along the M4, but some said lorries had been ignoring the diversion.

Earlier this week, the parish council asked motorists to try to avoid the route if possible, but it was busy throughout the day yesterday, with morning and evening rush hour being particularly bad.

Julie Collins, who works at Bloomfields Deli, said: “We were anticipating the extra traffic so I set off for work early but it didn’t make much difference.

“It was a nightmare and the cars were bumper to bumper. The traffic was moving very slowly.

“They’re meant to be stopping lorries which aren’t delivering, but we’ve seen quite a few come though.”

The road is shut from the Bourton Junction up to Watchfield Roundabout.