The Hundred is set to re-open following the governments announcement to ease lockdown restrictions on July 19.

The road will open to traffic in the week after July 25, however, since the closure in July 2020, problems on The Hundred have been highlighted and talks about introducing partial closures to the road are ongoing.

Cllr Mark Cooper asked Hampshire County Council for a partial closure to become permanent on the street by either installing a timed barrier between 10am to 4pm or a similar system to retain a balance of commute traffic and pedestrian access but the request was rejected by the council based on a lack of funding and technology.

After the rejection, an external property developer who will not be named at this time, offered to help finance the project. Mr Cooper is yet to receive a response from the council.

The busy one-way road in the town centre has been closed to traffic between the Market Place and the Phoenix Pub which has caused disruption through the town and eventually led to almost two miles of diversion.

The Hundred was closed after social distancing rules came into effect which meant that shops were allowed limited numbers of people inside at one time and this led to queues outside.

This was deemed unsafe for pedestrians and vehicles needing to access the road in peak times.

Although the diversion appeared to be the best option for shoppers, other issues were created as a result and traffic was increased down Portersbridge Street which runs parallel to the Hundred.

Portersbridge consists of residential properties, and the buildings are old in design where front doors lead onto the pavements making the new bypass route unsuitable. Complaints were made by some residents due to the impact this was having on them.

County Council decided, the best option would be to put up signs saying `access to Portersbridge only` to stop this increase of traffic which then meant a new diversion was needed and this created the 1.6-mile route leading North of the town and back down.

This just shifted the problem and roads such as Cherville Street which were built similarly to Portersbridge, experienced the same issues and more complaints were made.

Cllr Mark cooper said: “I had a lot of pressure on me to get it re-opened but equally, ambience in the town was fantastic and it seems to me, footfall in the town was high.

“A Facebook poll said 80 to 20 of people who took the poll were in favour of keeping it closed, it was the overall feeling in the town, but I have to weigh up the impact on people’s lives.”