A BUSY Southampton junction has been blocked off amid safety fears after drivers a traffic management system.

The junction of Northlands Road and The Avenue has been closed to all vehicles because motorists flouted a temporary one-way system introduced after the roadworks started on Sunday.

Northlands Road was initially closed to traffic turning into the street from The Avenue.

Engineers installed a one-way system for traffic heading towards The Avenue. But drivers ignored the traffic management measure by turning illegally into Northlands Road from The Avenue.

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A full closure has now been implemented to reduce the risk of head-on collisions and other accidents.

A Southampton City Council spokesperson said: "There have been a number of near misses which have been making it dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists and the work force on site.

"Due the behaviour of some drivers we have had little option but to close the road fully in the interest of public safety.

"We have closed Northlands Road between The Avenue and Cemetery Road and have two-way temporary traffic signals on Cemetery Road and Northlands to get cars in and out of the Common safely.

"Works on site is ahead of schedule and the road should be fully open again before the end of the week."

Royston Smith, Tory for Southampton Itchen, added: "It's disappointing some drivers are ignoring the restrictions at this busy junction.

"We all know roadworks are inconvenient but driving the wrong way down a road is dangerous and if this was happening frequently, I can understand why the council had to take action.

"Hopefully, the roadworks will be removed as quickly as possible and the junction put back to normal."

Alan Whitehead, Labour MP for Southampton Test, added: "It seems as though the council have taken sensible action to stop anyone from getting hurt whilst road works are ongoing.

"It's a shame poor driving behaviour has impacted the original plan for a one-way system whilst work was taking place."

It comes amid increasing concern about road users driving in ways that endangered themselves or people carrying out improvements carrying out improvements to the highway network.

A survey carried out by highways maintenance company Amey found 59% of road users acknowledged they were not as safety conscious as they should be when negotiating roadworks.

Almost three quarters (74%) admitted to exceeding speed limits set to protect those working at sites.

However, the majority of those questioned (87%) acknowledged that being a road worker in the UK is a dangerous occupation.

An Amey spokesperson said: “It’s extremely concerning that so many drivers appear to be wilfully ignoring safety advice and driving without due care through roadworks especially when they acknowledge that working on our roads is a very dangerous job.

“This research illustrates that road users need to reflect on their behaviour when driving through roadworks." working at these sites."

Last year a Southampton resident revealed that motorists were continuing to drive the wrong way down her road – more than a decade after it became one-way.

Anita Graham, of John’s Road, Woolston, said her son had nearly been hit in the past by a car being driven by someone who had ignored the road signs.