FLOOD protection work has begun on highways in a bid to help a Test Valley town.

The works are part of the £6 million Romsey flood alleviation scheme and are now taking place in Middlebridge and Mainstone to make Romsey more resilient to flooding, while working closely with the Environment Agency.

The executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council, Cllr Rob Humby, said: “Romsey was badly affected by flooding during the winter of 2013/14, from a mixture of groundwater, sewer, surface water and fluvial sources.

"Since then, we’ve been working with the Environment Agency and Test Valley Borough Council to develop solutions to manage flooding from all sources in the area.”

He added: "I understand the Environment Agency is making good progress on their elements of the scheme, with construction on the Causeway bridge and spillway, various embankments and the Fishlake Stream flow control structure now underway.

"We continue to liaise with Southern Water about potential improvements to their infrastructure at Winchester Road, and hope to have an update on this for Romsey residents and businesses shortly.”

The Middlebridge and Mainstone works have been developed with the Environment Agency and Test Valley Borough Council to help lower the impact of flooding on businesses and households in the future.

Preliminary work to allow for drainage improvements has started ahead of the main work starting in November.

Work is also taking place off the carriageway at this stage to reduce the impact on the road network.

Hampshire County Council have given approximately £1.49 million to the Romsey flood alleviation scheme as part of the partnership funding and £325,000 has been donated from Test Valley Borough Council.

An additional £1.15 million was provided by local levy from the Southern Regional Food and Coastal Committee with the remainder coming from central government funding.

Operations manager at the Environment Agency, John O’Flynn, said: “The major flood defence structures including the installation of the Causeway bridges is still on course for this autumn.

"With final works due to be completed next year we have robust contingency plans to protect homes and businesses from flooding over the winter."