MOTORISTS in the heart of a Test Valley town ground to a halt following a crash between a lorry and a van.

A European Logistic Solutions lorry was in collision with a white van in the Market Place, Romsey, jamming the new roundabout for approximately half an hour.

The collision happened at around 11.30am and involved the HGV and an A1 Security Systems van heading towards Church Street.

Romsey town centre manager, Mark Edgerley, said: "The problem was the lorry would have normally fit round the roundabout, but he came down Stockbridge Road and kept coming into town instead of turning left earlier.

"He swung round the roundabout and the van had a great gash at the back of it; it ripped the van's tyre to pieces.

"Unfortunately the van driver was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

He added: "The police attended the incident and I had to control the rest of the traffic, which was queuing down Bell Street. I did not want Church Street to get clogged up with traffic as well, because the Costa delivery lorry was due to turn up."

Sylvia Robinson, a retired retailer from Rethink Romsey Market Place, said: "It was pretty chaotic and I was quite shocked to see it happen. There were two men in the van when the lorry was coming from Church Street into the Market Place.

"The front of the lorry blocked off the top of Bell Street and people were driving across the pavement to get to The Hundred.

"No one was hurt, but we have absolutely expected something to happen there and lots of people gave been worried about the safety of the Market Place."

Cllr Dorothy Baverstock, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council, said: "I really think that these large vehicles should not be coming though the town centre, unless it is a delivery lorry.

"The area where there is a 90 degree turn must be awful for lorries round there, let alone getting down Church Street."

The crash happened on September 3.

Hampshire police have been contacted for comment.