A POPULAR ‘rat run’ for motorists along a narrow country lane near Romsey could be closed for good.

Test Valley’s highway chiefs are planning to close sections of Lee Lane between Romsey and Nursling for a trial period to see if it improves safety.

And if it is successful the lane is likely to become a no through road and used as a cycle and pedestrian route only.

Borough officials are putting the first experimental ban in place on Monday and it covers the section of Lee Lane between its junction with the A27 and Spaniard’s Lane and the restriction will be in force for two weeks.

A similar two week ban will come into force on June 13 and will cover a stretch of the lane between Cold Harbour Lane and the junction of Upton Lane and Church Lane at Nursling.

The final ban covering the whole lane will come into operation on Monday July 11 and will last for a fortnight.

Test Valley Borough Council says access for Lee Lane residents will be maintained during the road closures.

At the end of the experiment – aimed at reducing through traffic along the lane and improving safety for cyclists, horse-riders, pedestrians and residents, borough traffic engineers will analyse all the data taken during the traffic ban and then report back to Test Valley’s councillors, who will decide whether the ban becomes permanent.