RESIDENTS in Swaythling could face “total gridlock” when transport bosses shut one of the city’s busiest roads for vital repairs.

That’s the view of ward councillor Bob Painton, who believes his area will be one of the worst hit when road bosses close Bassett Avenue.

As reported yesterday in the Echo, the road will be shut for four weeks to all city-bound traffic between Chilworth Roundabout and Winchester Road.

The work, due to start next Sunday, is part of a three month repair project – costing more than £1 million.

As a result, motorists coming into the city will be diverted along Bassett Green Avenue and towards the junction with Stoneham Way.

Councillor Painton believes this will cause major disruption in the area.

He said: “It will be total gridlock at peak times and no-one will be able to move.

“I come down there most evenings and sometimes it takes me 30 minutes to get through at peak times.

“It has got to be done, but hopefully it is managed properly.”

The work on Bassett Avenue will begin with repairs to the drainage system.

Expected to last four weeks, the work will be accompanied by 24 hour closures for all city-bound traffic.

Two outbound lanes will be maintained during the work and this will also be used to allow access for residents.

This will be followed by the first resurfacing of the road in 16 years.

That work is expected to start on March 12 and could take up to three weeks.

It will be carried out at night, with the road closed to traffic in both directions from 9pm to 6am.

Engineers will return in April or May to lay an anti-skid surface, but this will not lead to closures.

A city council spokesman said: “We will be closely monitoring all affected, signalised junctions and will adjust timings when applicable.

“We are encouraging drivers to use the motorway network and access the city at alternative junctions to alleviate pressure on the diversion route through Swaythling.”

The work, by city council contractors, Balfour Beatty, will coincide with resurfacing work to junctions three and four of the M27.

The work, by Highways England, will start on Monday, February 5, and will include night-time closure between junction three and junction five for four weeks.

This will be followed by the opposite closures on the westbound carriageway, due to start on March 5 and will also last four weeks.