WORK on a footpath at a popular Hampshire beauty spot has been hit by delays, but the council say it is due to open before the end of the year.

The Romsey Extra Footpath along The Causeway running from the bypass to Sadlers Mill was due to be completed by the end of November, however the project has been delayed due to the "wet weather", according to Cllr Roy Perry, who represents Romsey Rural on Hampshire County Council.

However, the council are hopeful work will be completed by the end of the year.

The work is part of the £6 million flood alleviation scheme in the town.

This comes after residents voiced their anger after it was announced the footpath could be temporarily closed for another six months, or until work is completed.

Cllr Perry said: "I remain hopeful I will be able to enjoy my pre-Christmas walk along the Causeway.

"However I recognise the delicate environment alongside the river and appreciate the care the contractors are taking to not damage the trees and other vegetation. Keeping the area attractive is more important than gaining a few days."

An environment manager at HCC said: "I can confirm that the foundations for the bridge decks, including abutments and tubular piles, have been completed and the scour protection is now in place.

"The final stage of construction will involve laying of the bridge decks and it is proposed that this will be done through delivering the bridge sections by crane under the plane tree canopy.

"The aim is to complete works along the Causeway by the end of the year."

Cllr John Parker, who represents Romsey Tadburn on the borough council, said: "It is disappointing that it has taken so long, but it is what I had heard from residents.

"It has dragged on."

As previously reported reported in the Romsey Advertiser work started on the footpath in May and was due to finish on November 24.

An alternative route has been given which will take walkers from for The Mears to Newton Lane to Middlebridge Street.

Reasonable facilities have also be provided to allow access to adjacent premises while the work is being carried out.

Almost 200 properties in Romsey will be better protected from flooding following construction of new defences in the town.

The proposals, designed to prevent flooding, were drawn up by the Environment Agency and Hampshire County Council.