PART of a major Hampshire road could be turned into a lorry park in case of Brexit cross-Channel freight chaos.

Plans are being drawn up to create a 300-lorry park on the A31 dual carriageway westbound between Winchester and Alresford.

The Local Resilience Planning Team, which comprises agencies, such as the police, fire, ambulance and local authorities, are from Monday preparing the ground for transport difficulties to do with Brexit on March 29.

Should the lorry park be needed the eastbound carriageway would take both sets of traffic on a contraflow which would cause traffic delays.

A county council spokeswoman said today: "The Local Resilience Forum has identified the impact of a no-deal to be mainly on the port of Portsmouth. We are not so concerned about Southampton because of the different kind of freight. But Portsmouth has been identified as an area where contingency planning needs to be put in place."

Today Cllr Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said: “As part of the Hampshire Local Resilience Forum (LRF), we’re supporting  plans to mitigate the potential impact of increased freight traffic around Portsmouth and the effect this could have on local communities. We’ve identified a 5km stretch of the A31 to complement the work going on at Tipner, making sure we’re as prepared as we can be in this uncertain situation. I would like to reassure local residents that careful preparations are in hand through the Local Resilience Forum.”

The traffic management plan relies on the ability to effectively monitor, triage and direct freight entering Portsmouth from the M27 and M275. The LRF has scoped a number of options for potential triage and holding sites for the anticipated additional numbers of lorries that may be delayed at the ports due to slower turnaround times, or who may choose to access Portsmouth rather than use services at Dover.

Land at Tipner West near Portsmouth has been identified as a lorry park.

Neil Odin, Chief Fire Officer for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, and chairman of the LRF Strategic Coordinating Group, said today: “Our role within the LRF is to plan for the reasonable worst case scenarios set out in the Government’s contingency planning assumptions.

“We have been working extremely hard to identify what that is and look at the ways we can mitigate and manage the risks that are likely to arise.

“Within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, the planning has focused on disruption at the roll on roll off port at Portsmouth and the resulting impact any delay would have on the surrounding road network and beyond, on communities attempting to navigate their way around the city, the close proximity of the Naval Base and the reliance of the Channel Islands on the port for supplies.

“Due to the length of time required to ensure these measures are up and running in the event of exiting the EU without a withdrawal agreement on March 29, and with that option still a possibility, our partners have had to invoke emergency plans to make this happen within the required timescale.

“We continue to work closely with our local highways partners and look forward to receiving any assistance available from the Department for Transport to enable us to be planned for all eventualities should they occur.”