A BUSY Romsey road is to close to traffic for two weeks as works to transform the town centre are near completion.

The Hundred, at its junction with Market Place, will be closed to traffic from June 6 to allow works to put in place a new uncontrolled crossing point for pedestrians between the new paving in front of the Lord Palmerston statue and the NatWest bank.

Work will also be underway to improve the existing uncontrolled crossing point in The Hundred between Barclays Bank and the Romsey Advertiser building, laying new tactile paving to match the other areas within the scheme.

All businesses will remain open as usual, with pedestrian access to The Hundred and Market Place maintained throughout the works.

Hampshire County Council (HCC) which is leading the scheme, said the authority will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum and a signed diversion route will be in place.

The project is the final stage of £3.2m  improvements to Romsey town centre.

As reported, works on the Market Place started in January and are expected to be completed by summer but a date has not been set yet.

The roundabout in the Market Place will be replaced with a large piazza-style build-out around Lord Palmerston’s statue.

York stone paving will surround the Palmerston statue, and power bollards will be installed at the entrances to the Market Place.

There will also be a bicycle rack and a number of new benches put in place.

The works follow £1.5 million improvements to Church Street in 2015, and Bell Street in 2018.

Cllr Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council, said: “This scheme is designed not only to make access easier for everyone, but also provide more space for community events and inspire a café culture.

“I would like to reassure residents and business in Romsey that we will do all we can to keep disruption to a minimum during the works.”

The plans were also welcomed by town centre manager Mark Edgerley, who said: “I welcome the Market Place enhancements, the final phase of town centre works will offer more space for pedestrians and hopefully reduce vehicle movements in Romsey.”

“There will be inconvenience to everyone during the works but with co-operation from all parties this will be minimal and the results will be beneficial to the economic well being of Romsey long term.”