A FOOTPATH at a popular beauty spot in Romsey could be closed for two months as part of a £6 million flood alleviation scheme.

Work on the Romsey Extra Footpath, running along The Causeway from Bypass Road to Sadlers Mill, could start at the beginning of June and last for eight weeks.

Now one community leader has revealed "it is a pity" the Causeway will be shut off again to ensure vehicles up to 26 tonnes can use the route.

Cllr Mark Cooper, who represents Romsey Tadburn on Test Valley Borough Council, said: "We have been waiting a long time to get this work done and it is a pity it was not finished earlier, because walking on the Causeway is one of the most enjoyed recreation spots for many people in Romsey.

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Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Mark CooperCllr Mark Cooper

"To have their favourite route cut off again is unfortunate in this fine weather, but it is important for the businesses and homes that were affected by the floods for the work to be finished.

"It is also a fairly confined space where they are working so I don't think you can have many machines up there at the same time, which might be a reason for the slowness."

Cllr John Parker, who represents Romsey Tadburn on the borough council, said: "They were able to open the Causeway for pedestrians before, but not for vehicles because they didn't have high barrier rails either side of the bridges.

"The eight weeks to finish the work off will mean vehicles will not drive off into the river; at the moment drivers are having to use the temporary track that comes off the A27 so they can get to their homes."

He added: "It has taken a long time to get this done, but it will be lovely to see it finished and back open."

The proposals were also drawn up by the Environment Agency and Hampshire County Council (HCC).

A spokesperson from the Environment Agency said: "The Causeway is being closed to allow our contractor to install timber-clad barriers.

"These will prevent vehicles up to 26 tonnes from falling off the bridges over the spillways while working on the Romsey Flood Alleviation Scheme.

“Our contractor estimates the Causeway will be closed for eight weeks, to allow for working under coronavirus restrictions, but hopes it will re-open sooner."

They added: “When completed the £6m Romsey Flood Alleviation Scheme will provide greater flood protection to nearly 130 homes as well as commercial properties in Romsey.”

A document from HCC states work on the Causeway is "likely to begin at the beginning of June" and last for "approximately eight weeks".

This comes after the Causeway was officially reopened to pedestrians on Friday, December 20.

More than 100 properties in Romsey will be better protected from flooding following construction of new defences in the town.

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