Businesses and residents alike have spoken of their relief as disruptive works draw to a close – for now.

Work to replace electricity cables has been ongoing since January, with temporary lights restricting traffic to one lane along parts of Portland Beach Road.

The work has also affected Portland Road and surrounding roads as the SSEN project moved into Wyke Regis.

SSEN says the work has now finished and the company is now removing its equipment, with the highway to be fully clear by next Monday, April 23. Further work to finish the project will resume in September, but will not involve any disruption to the highway.

Mandy Logan, an employee of Weyline Taxis, which has an office on Portland's Victoria Square, said the works had caused 'a lot of inconvenience'.

"For me, it's not too bad coming [to Portland] because I come early, before 7 am," she said. "It's going home that's the problem."

Mrs Logan added that since the works began, it could take her 50 minutes to reach her home off Chickerell Road in Weymouth - a journey that usually took just 20 minutes.

The end of the works would be good news for the firm's taxis, she went on. "If all our cars are over in Weymouth and we get a booking from someone on Portland, it can be very difficult," she noted.

Alex Browne, proprietor of Mushy's Diner, a Victoria Square snack van, was equally glad to see the end of the works, which he said had hurt his business. "I know major works have to be done," he said, but suggested the delays could have been minimised by putting night shifts as well as day shifts to work.

He explained that while some of the workmen had patronised his van, he had seen an overall drop in business as commuters had less time to stop for a snack or a cup of tea.

"It's a relief, to be honest," he said of the works' end.

Tophill resident Pete Roper recognised the need for the works, but argued that the management of the traffic lights could have been better. "It's been questionable," he said. "Things will be better if the works are finishing - the tailbacks have reached all the way up [the High Street] in the mornings."

Cllr Kate Wheller, who represents wards on both ends of Portland Beach Road - Wyke Regis on the borough council, Portland Harbour on the county council - said she was glad the works were coming to a stop. "I hope that when they return in September, they will be a lot less disruptive," she said. "I applaud the people of Portland for their patience."

Cllr Lucy Hamilton, another Wyke Regis borough councillor, agreed. "The delays have been unacceptable and impossible," she said. "People have been spending an hour getting on and off the island.

"But the works in the autumn should be much less disruptive."

SCOTTISH and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), the distributor of electricity to customers across central southern England, says the £2.6m project to replace 7km of electricity cable will make the local network more robust and resilient and minimise the risk of power cuts for customers in the Weymouth and Portland area.

MILES Crossley of SSEN said: “I would like to thank local residents and businesses for their patience and understanding as we have carried out our essential work.

"Now that this new cable is in place, it will help us to continue our commitment to deliver a safe and reliable supply of electricity to our customers in and around Portland and Weymouth.”