ROAD safety experts will be keeping a close watch on the effect of improvements to the Wellow and Plaitford stretch of the A36, which reopened at the weekend. As well as resurfacing, the road has been given a string of new features including an extension of its 40 miles per hour limit and new crossing points for pedestrians

The improvements were given an instant inspection by Hampshire County Councillor Michael Woodhall, Wellow Parish Council chairman Veronica Perry and Romsey's Conservative Party Parliamentary candidate Caroline Nokes.

Mrs Perry said the parish council was particularly happy with the extended speed limit and the well-lit crossing points, but said there were some concerns over the "sharper radius" of the Canada Road roundabout.

"My fear on the roundabout is that people trying to cross may be in possible danger, particularly from traffic coming from Salisbury.

"Traffic will also have to go really slow to get round the roundabout and the drivers of really big vehicles will have to drive very slowly indeed," she said.

Mr Woodhall appealed to drivers to drive with caution. He said: "The A36 has been a long-standing problem and until everybody drives safely and correctly, I believe there will always be problems.

"I am pleased the Hampshire engineers' department has been able to assist in a consultancy role to the Highways Agency in this current work."

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said that close monitoring always took place when major road improvement projects were completed and that this would, of course, be the case on the A36.

Meanwhile, resurfacing work is continuing on the resurfacing of the dual carriageway between the Ower Services roundabout and Junction Two of the M27. Both carriageways have been coned off, with traffic using the hard shoulders.