There are fears that an environmental disaster could happen because of the way a bridge on the M27 is built.

If petrol or diesel was to spill out due to an accident on the bridge over the River Hamble, between junctions 8 and 9, then this could have devastating consequences for the environment.

This is due to drainage issues with the bridge which have been going on for 20 years and could result in over-polluted water.

It comes as the expected survey on the bridge is delayed until early 2024.

The River Hamble Harbour Authority (RHHA) asked National Highway for an update on the M27 bridge drainage feasibility study, which was due in September 2023.

In response, National Highways said that due to issues with assessing and strengthening the bridge - which they described as 'notoriously difficult' - they had pushed back the deadline for the study.

Repairs to both parapets across the bridge were completed in November.

National Highways was hoping to move into the design stage in 2024 to 2025.

National Highways’ designated funds programme has a scheme for the Hamble Bridge planned for feasibility in 2022/23, design in 2023/24 and construction in 2024/25, subject to securing funding approval for each stage.

The update will be debated at the River Hamble Management Committee (December 8).