A SURVEY by a political party has found the majority of participants in Romsey are in favour of The Hundred being closed, it has been revealed.

The Liberal Democrats delivered 135 survey forms to a number of business in The Hundred, including roads around the town centre, to see if the temporary road closure has helped or hindered shops.

According to 53 respondents, there was either an increase or no change in the takings of almost two thirds of the businesses, although the footfall in stores had not increased as expected.

Participants said they had had almost no problems with preparing to open their businesses to the public, adding customers were social distancing and wearing face coverings.

Several business owners requested there should be free parking in the town, which was suggested as a method to help businesses.

However, some people believed The Hundred should be open after business hours, with some businesses thinking this would help tackle their reduced takings.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Nik Daas said: "“We wanted to find out how the businesses in the town were faring with the current closure, to traffic, of The Hundred.

“This survey sits well alongside the Romsey Advertiser’s online survey, which we understand found that 78 per cent of respondents were in favour of the Hundred remaining closed.”

He added the survey results were "really good news and clearly shows that the decision by Romsey councillors to back and press for the closing of The Hundred was the right decision”.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Sandra Gidley said: "We are delighted with the huge level of engagement. We have had nearly a third of surveys returned to date.

"This is, by any measure, an excellent response.”

She added: "We will be sending our findings to Hampshire County Council and thank all those businesses who have come back to us.

"It has been very helpful and we want to ensure everyone that we will work to deliver on the findings to support out town to thrive and prosper.”

Deputy leader of TVBC and Conservative Cllr Nick Adams-King said: "I think it was a good initiative to have done and I hope they had a good response.

"I don't think the responses are surprising really and we have already already had conversations with businesses about the reason why we could not continue to have free parking, but that we would look again if there were any future issues.

"We also know, and it would be my preference that The Hundred should only be closed during peak hours, but unfortunately the nature of the closure means it is either open or closed, and we cannot do a temporary closure at the moment."

The surveys were delivered to businesses on July 26.