WHILE 40,000 people are expected to descend on the city for the ABP Southampton Marathon today, those looking to nip into WestQuay will still be able to get their shopping done.

Organisers of the mass running event have worked closely with Southampton City Council and local bus firms to ensure the city flows smoothly on race day. While people will need to plan extra time to get in and out of the city, road closures have been planned to make the city as accessible as possible.

The ABP Southampton Marathon takes place on April 22, with the half and full distances setting off at 9am and the 10k following at 10am. Around 10,000 people are expected to take part, with a further 30,000 coming to the city to watch.

Road closures will be in place in parts of Southampton City Centre on April 22, however organisers have worked hard with Southampton City Council to ensure the city is still accessible on race day. Most road closures will be lifted by 2pm and a map has been produced to show residents exactly where will be shut and when, so they can plan alternative routes if necessary.

West Quay Road leading to WestQuay will remain open all day. A small section from near the Grand Harbour hotel to Canute Road will be shut from 9 to 9.30am.

Northam Bridge will be open for access to the city centre all day and fully open from 2.30pm. Itchen Bridge will be open for access to the city from 2pm. The newly resurfaced bassett Avenue will be open in both directions all day.

Organisers are encouraging those taking part or spectating to use public transport to enter the city on race day. Runners and official event volunteers will be able to take advantage of free bus travel in the city on the day courtesy of local firms Bluestar, Unilink and First Buses. Free bike parking has also been set up in the tennis courts in East Park to encourage people to cycle in.

Organiser Nikki Rees said: “This is our fourth year of running the event and every year we’ve been able to make improvements to make the city more accessible. While some roads will be closed for the majority of the day and it’ll undoubtedly be busy, it will be possible for people to get around.

“We’d encourage anyone planning a trip to the city to factor in extra time for their journey and visit our website for details of any road closures.”

For more information on the event and routes visit www.abpsouthamptonhalf.co.uk