DRIVERS are being warned to prepare for delays or seek alternative routes ahead of a major annual event which is expect to attract thousands of visitors.

Wickham Horse Fair will return to the village on Monday, with Wickham Square closed to traffic from noon tomorrow until 8pm on Monday.

The A334 will also be closed between the traffic lights at Blind Lane and the roundabout junction of the A32 from 5am to 8pm on Monday.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said an arrangement has been put in place for horse boxes to be parked on the east side of the A334 between the north end of the square and the junction at Blind Lane and Titchfield Lane, but warned any vehicle parked in an unauthorised place will be towed away.

Meanwhile, motorists not heading to the event are advised to find alternative routes.

Superintendent Alison Heydari said: “Wickham Horse Fair is steeped in history, and once again, thousands of visitors are expected to attend.

“Anyone planning to attend should make sure they are aware of the road closure and the parking arrangements before they start their journeys.

“Officers in high-visibility uniform will be on site throughout the event to respond to any issues that may arise.

“We have been working closely with organisers, local authority partners and businesses to make sure this is a safe environment for visitors and residents at the event.”

Officers say a dedicated emergency telephone number has been set up for residents in the roads where access to their properties is affected.