MAJOR roadworks on the M40 in Oxfordshire will remain in place over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Improvement work started on the M40/A34 interchange earlier this month and is set to last until Christmas.

The Highways Agency had hoped to lift 40mph speed restrictions over the bank holiday weekend to ease traffic congestion.

However, that will not happen due to safety concerns.

Highways Agency spokesman Mik Barton said: “The 40mph speed limit needs to remain for safety because there are open excavations and safety fences have been removed.”

The £4m first phase of the upgrades to the M40 junction nine will see the southbound motorway exit and the turn from the roundabout onto the A34 widened to three lanes.

The Highways Agency said that, once complete, the work would increase capacity for southbound traffic and improve vehicle flow across the junction.

A decision on the planned second phase of work, which would see northbound slips improved, is on hold until the Highways Agency’s budget settlement is announced in the autumn.

The Highways Agency has lifted 64 miles of roadworks for this weekend.

* For live traffic updates visit