Major roadworks which have made a ring road near Southampton city centre one-way only could bring the area to a standstill, a trader has warned.

Lawrence Hargreaves says works on Cumberland Place, which started yesterday, have led to "total chaos" - and could get even worse when Saints are playing at St Mary's.

The road has been closed clockwise to allow a redesign of the layout. 

It's expected to remain open one-way only until the summer.

Daily Echo: Works on the ring roadWorks on the ring road (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Hargreaves who owns a dry cleaners on Commercial Road said: “I’m really concerned about these works – if an ambulance, fire engine or other emergency vehicle needed to get down Commercial Road they would have no chance.

“Delivery drivers are attempting to deliver to businesses and are, in turn, blocking up the road. I dread to think what the road will look like during rush hour.

“When the football is on and when the Mayflower kicks out, I think it could be gridlock among this area.”

The roadworks, affecting areas such as East Park and Watts Park, Solent University and the Guildhall, include new footpaths and crossings, improvements to traffic lights and resurfacing.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know as busy city route becomes one-way

Chef and owner of Italian restaurant Soleto, George JioJioras, said: “People are going to face heavy delays and added journey times across the whole city.

“I am already warning customers with booking that they will need to anticipate an extra 30 minuets on to their travel time.

“The road works have already changed in some places, and it looks as though the workers are somewhat going off script.

“I hope this long-term development will benefit everyone when it is finished."

Daily Echo: Cumberland Place has been closed clockwiseCumberland Place has been closed clockwise (Image: Newsquest)

But manager of The Mayflower Village bar and grill, Steve Carthy, said he was not concerned about the impact of the roadworks.

He said: “There is a lot of traffic at the moment, but the council warned us of these works well in advance.

“I’m not concerned about the traffic as the rush hour should ease off before theatre-goers are leaving.”

The works form part of the wider £57m government-funded Transforming Cities Fund.

The council says they will lead to improved journey times for motorists, more reliable buses at London Road and West Park Road and safer crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cllr Eamonn Keogh, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment said: "Our aim is to create a network that is safe, attractive and accessible however you get around the city.

"I would like to thank everyone for their patience whilst the works are taking place, we are working with Balfour Beatty Living Places to ensure there is minimal disruption.”