A PETITION has been launched to close an important road through Southampton.

Activists are calling on the newly elected Tory council to close Woodmill Lane permanently.

Southampton Street Space says that for too long people and vehicles have been clashing at the “notorious bottleneck”.

The group which campaigns for safer and healthier streets, wants the council to take “bold action” and turn the river crossing into a traffic-free route for walkers, cyclists and emergency vehicles.

It comes following a hit and run accident earlier this week.

A Nissan Micra ploughed into the former mill building on Woodmill Bridge smashing a hole through one of its walls.

The road has been closed ever since.

Street Space says the safety of vulnerable road users in Woodmill Lane should prioritised

The group cites “previous major incidents” including a crash involving a 64-year-old dog walker hit by a van, and a fight between motorists over right of way.

Spokesperson, Izzy Sargent, said: “Attempts to improve the flow of traffic with lights have increased the danger.

“Now cars speed through when the lights are on green when previously they took more care.”

However, many Southampton residents disagree saying it would cause total mayhem and gridlock.

Responding to a Daily Echo post on social media, one user said: “I use that road to get to family and friends and if it closes it will put 15 mins on my drive to them and longer if I have to get to them in rush hour.”

Another added: “I would definitely not support closing this route, it is a good way to avoid traffic most of the time and gives access where you would otherwise have huge diversions.

According to the city council, repair work is due to begin over the next few days and updates will be ongoing.

A spokesperson said: “Woodmill Lane is a well-used route and strategically important to maintaining steady traffic flows on the surrounding network.

"We invested in improvements to benefit traffic moving through the route with the installation of part-time traffic signals.

"A permanent closure of the route is not part of our considerations.”