PLANS for £450,000 of improvement works to encourage residents to walk and cycle in Romsey are to start this summer.

Hampshire County Council have announced a new footway will be built between the new development at Abbotswood, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and the village of Braishfield.

This will provide a continuous pedestrian route between Abbotswood and Braishfield Village, including the school, pubs, recreation ground and village hall.

The improvements to Braishfield Road will include a 1.8 metre footway, from the roundabout with Jermyns Lane through to the vehicle entrance of the Dog and Crook pub.

Residents will also see a further 3 metre wide shared-use footway built from the roundabout with Braishfield Road and Jermyns Lane to the existing 3 metre wide footway just north of the roundabout with Freemantle Road and Braishfield Road.

This existing section will be converted to a shared use route and will link with the proposed shared use footway.

Mark Edgerley, Romsey town centre manager, said: “This will make it much easier for residents to access Hillier Gardens which is great. Cycling is important in the Romsey area and we are encouraging people to cycle as it will help take the traffic off the road.

“It will also make it easier for families to go out on their bikes together to enjoy the local countryside.”

The mayor of Romsey, councillor Janet Burnage, said: “I think it is marvellous and I welcome it. Anything that is making it easier to take children on their bikes and get people to Hillier Gardens has got to be a good thing.”

Residents have also been invited to view the plans on July 9 between 5pm and 7pm.

The public information session will be held in Braishfield Village Hall, Braishfield Road.

Councillor Rob Humby, deputy leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “We have been working closely with Braishfield Parish Council, Test Valley Borough Council, local county councillors, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and the wider local community on these plans which are designed to make it easier for people to walk and cycle.

“This event gives us the opportunity to talk to local people about the scheme, and I would encourage as many people as possible to come and see the plans and chat to our officers about this important local project.”

An uncontrolled crossing point will also be constructed just south of the Dog and Crook car park entrance to allow pedestrians to cross from the east side of Braishfield Road and join the existing footway to the north of the car park entrance.

The works are due to finish during the winter, but no start and end date has been confirmed.