MOTORISTS are being reminded to steer clear of the city centre today to prevent gridlock paralysing Southampton again.

Hundreds of motorists were trapped in some of the worst jams ever earlier this year amid major roadworks and five cruise ships in dock.

Now Southampton City Council is trying to avert chaos today as the Platform Road works continue and cruise ships the Oceana and Oriana arrive at Dock Gate 4.

Transport bosses are appealing drivers to help ease the pressure by avoiding coming in from the M271 during the busiest times at 11am to 2pm.

Meanwhile works at Town Quay eastbound have been suspended so the road can be reopened for the day to create extra capacity.

It will be closed again on Thursday evening to allow resurfacing to be completed the following week.

Daily Echo:

The gyratory around Queens Park now has a designated right-hand lane for Dock Gate 4 traffic only and the left-hand lane is reserved for all other traffic, while yellow box road markings have been installed to deter traffic from blocking entry junctions.

Council environment and transport cabinet member Councillor Jacqui Rayment said: “We regret that some of our residents, visitors and businesses may be inconvenienced but we are doing everything in our power to alleviate the worst of the congestion.”

Peak times for cruise traffic are between 8.15am and 10am for disembarkation and 11.30am and 2pm for embarkation but Associated British Ports has vowed to deploy extra staff to speed up movement through security checkpoints.