MOTORISTS are again facing lengthy delays in Southampton.

Traffic is slow between Saltmarsh Road to Dock Gate 4 due to volume of traffic entering the Docks.

It comes as drivers are urged to avoid parts of Southampton city centre to avoid a repeat of recent traffic chaos.

The warning comes as thousands of passengers make their way to and from a cruise liner at Dock Gate Four tomorrow and Monday.

Work is continuing to convert the nearby Platform Road and Town Quay into a dual carriageway. And Central Bridge is also now closed for six months for vital repairs to take place.

Since work began on the £5.3million Platform Road scheme, drivers have been hit by three days of gridlock misery when cruise liners arrived in the city.

Daily Echo: Crisis talks to prevent Southampton gridlock happening again

Roadworks and cruise traffic have brought gridlock to Southampton recently

Last month, city council chiefs urged motorists to avoid the area if possible when two more cruise ships docked.

And it worked, with no issues reported, although businesses in the area reported a drop in trade as a result.

Tomorrow and Monday, the 3,000-berth Azura will dock in the port following a world cruise, before setting off again on Monday.

The busiest times are expected to be between 7.30am and 10am on both days.

A spokesman for the council said: “If journeys to this part of the city are not essential, drivers may wish to travel outside of the peak times or come into the city using a different route.”

Council staff and contractor Balfour Beatty are working with Associated British Ports to minimise delays.

Message signs will urge drivers to avoid the area around Dock Gate Four, while extra staff will be on hand to allow drivers quicker access.

Council transport boss Jacqui Rayment said: “Southampton is open for business and the improvement works at Platform Road represent the highest level of investment in the city's roads for over a decade.

Daily Echo: Motorists during Tuesday's gridlock

“This will lead to significant benefits for residents, businesses and visitors to the city, but making such important changes is inevitably going to cause some disruption.

“We regret that some of our residents, visitors and businesses may be inconvenienced in the short term but the whole city will gain in the longer term.”