THE majority of Totton residents back plans to give their town centre one of the biggest facelifts in its history.

Figures from Hampshire County Council show that more than 70 per cent of residents support proposals for a multi-million-pound redevelopment scheme.

The improvement project was unveiled at a major exhibition in the civic centre two months ago.

If the scheme goes ahead, the busy junction of Salisbury Road and Commercial Road will be closed to all traffic except buses.

Cars will have to use a new link road connecting Salisbury Road with the roundabout at the junction of Ringwood Road and Maynard Road.

Other proposals include a town square at the western end of the Commercial Road shopping precinct, and a village green-style amenity area at the junction of Salisbury Road and Water Lane.

Commercial Road - currently a dual carriageway - will be halved in width and turned into a tree-lined boulevard.

Hampshire County Council says 71 per cent of the people who visited the exhibition and filled in a questionnaire agreed with the proposals.

The figure was revealed at a meeting of the town council's planning and transport advisory committee.

Planning officer Roger Hill said: "The proposals attracted substantial across-the-board support, and in the weeks since the exhibition no single issue or concern has emerged.

"The town council needs to be assured that the county council will make a determined effort to secure the necessary funding.

"I can't think of anything worse than going to all this trouble and then nothing coming of it.

"Faith would be lost in all the local authorities involved if there was no evidence of strenuous and concerted action to obtain the finance."

Councillor Neal Scott complained that the scheme failed to tackle congestion caused by the notorious Junction Road level crossing.

County council officers at the meeting said bridging the railway would be visually unacceptable as well as costing millions of pounds.

There were other concerns. The roundabout at the junction of Ringwood Road and Maynard Road might be unable to cope with extra traffic generated by the proposed link road. Reducing the amount of street parking might cause problems too.