A LARGE tree at a city park fell and blocked a road last night.

Motorists were blocked from entering one part of Southampton Common, along Cemetery Road.

It fell onto the road at 4pm on Tuesday due to strong winds and decayed roots "which would be impossible to observe during inspection".

The footpath and highway has since been cleared.

A spokesperson for Southampton City Council said: "I can confirm a City Council tree surgery team attended the site shortly after we received notification of the incident.

"The tree surgery team that attended the site continued to work to ensure that the footpath and highway were clear.

A Southampton City Council spokesperson said:

“The failure of the beech tree on Cemetery Road yesterday at around 16.00 was unfortunate but not foreseeable.

"The tree failed due to a combination of the strong wind and decayed roots which would be impossible to observe during inspection. Southampton City Council’s trees are subject to a robust and rigorous system of survey under STORMS (Southampton’s Tree Operational Risk Management System), carried out  by qualified and experienced surveyors.

"Tree failures such as these are rare, and this can be observed by the very few failures of the 267,000 trees that did occur across the city in the two recent storms."

Southampton City Council removed bollards to enable the vehicles trapped on Cemetery Road to leave through Hill Lane whilst the Council’s Tree Surgery Team attended the scene.

They said they worked until 8pm to ensure the footpath and highway were clear and safe to use.