A BUSY level crossing in a Hampshire town has been closed to traffic and is likely to remain shut until Friday.

Vehicles are currently unable to drive the whole length of Junction Road, Totton, which links the Rumbridge Street area with the town centre.

Buses and emergency service vehicles are among those which are prevented from using the route.

Bus service Bluestar tweeted: "Junction Road in Totton will now remain closed until further notice owing to a barrier fault.

"Bluestar6 and Bluestar8 will divert between Totton & Rushington roundabout, and will be unable to serve Batts Corner, Bartram Road and Brokenford Lane. Apologies."

The crossing is halfway along Junction Road and its closure is forcing drivers to take a detour.

Pedestrians can still use the footbridge beside the crossing but people with mobility issues and other health problems say the stairs are too steep.

Several Totton residents have taken to social media to complain about the road closure.

One person said: "People this side of Totton cannot walk to Totton or catch a bus to Totton. I cannot climb stairs so I'm stuffed."

Another social media user added: "I feel sorry for parents with prams and pushchairs but at least it's half term so children aren't missing four days of school because their parents can't get there.

"I regularly see emergency vehicles on blue lights using that route so that's adding to their response times."

Cllr David Harrison added: "Junction Road is closed for through traffic for essential work to the railway line.

"Pedestrians can still get through, via the footbridge.

"It's advertised as being closed until 7am on Friday, although it may be opened earlier if works are completed ahead of time."

Network Rail have been contacted for comment.

The crossing, which is near the town's railway station, shut last night.

It serves the busy London to Bournemouth line and is often closed to traffic for a total of 20 minutes every hour, resulting in tailbacks.

Plans to open a 24-hour fast food outlet at the Esso garage in nearby Ringwood Road have just been turned down by New Forest District District, which had received 26 letters of objection.

Protesters said traffic congestion in the area was one of the reasons why the scheme should be turned down.