THOUSANDS of cruise passengers will give a major city centre route its first real test after extensive roadworks.

About 25,000 passengers are expected to visit Southampton as eight cruise ships dock in the city today and tomorrow.

It means Platform Road will carry thousands of cars just days after it reopened after nearly a year of improvement work.

Engineers have been working on transforming the road into a dual carriage way since last June.

Tailback As reported, council bosses were forced to introduce a raft of measures after motorists found themselves stuck in a three-mile tailback in January.

The congestion, which forced some cruise passengers to abandon their cars and taxis, was blamed on five cruise ships in port at one time, and the ongoing work on Platform Road.

Independence of the Seas, Emerald Princess, Oceana, Aurora, and Balmoral are due to dock in Southampton this morning, and Azura, Black Watch and Seven Seas Voyager tomorrow.

On Wednesday and Thursday, more congestion is likely when two cruise ships dock, including Queen Elizabeth, which will bring the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton to the city.