IT IS the most famous sights of the festive season and a signal that the “holidays are coming”.

The popular Coca-Cola Christmas truck attracts massive crowds wherever it goes, with families keen to get in the festive spirit.

Yet although the truck is making one stop in Hampshire this year, Southampton is set to miss out.

The iconic red and white truck’s tour, often regarded as a highlight of the winter calendar, is only stopping in Winchester as part of a 46-date journey across the country which includes Bournemouth the day before.

Coca-Cola says residents will have the chance to experience a “winter wonderland” at each location on the tour, which marks the 20th anniversary of the Holidays are Coming TV advert.

In previous years thousands of delighted Southampton residents have gathered in Guildhall Square to see the famous red and white truck lit up and take pictures.

Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith said the event is an important part of Christmas, particularly for youngsters, and called on organisers to add a Southampton date.

He said: “I'm disappointed to learn the Coca-Cola truck will not be visiting Southampton.

“It has become quite a traditional part of Christmas and I know many children will feel a little let down. I hope they will have a rethink.”

Daily Echo: Lots of people went to see the truck when it was last in Southampton

Coca-Cola did not respond to requests for comment from the Daily Echo.

In preparation for its arrival Winchester City Council bosses are trying to ensure it does not lead to traffic chaos and the venue of the bus has even had to change due to safety concerns. OFollowing advice from safety consultants and professionals involved in running large-scale local events, organisers have relocated tThe bus has been relocated from the High Street to the Broadway, where it will be on Thursday from noon to 8pm.

Event organisers Playmaker and Winchester City Council expect the city to be packed on the day following interest on social media and attendance at other venues.

The Broadway and Colebrook Street up to the junction of Market Lane will be closed to traffic on the day.

This means rRegular service buses leaving the bus station will turn left rather than heading up the High Street and schedules may be affected as a result.