RAIL passengers are being advised to plan ahead as a busy level crossing is set to close for improvement work.

Over two weekends in April, the level crossing on the A337 near Brockenhurst Station will be closed to allow worn-out tracks to be replaced by Network Rail.

Passengers, neighbours and businesses are now being advised to plan ahead and check for diversions when using the A337 over the weekends of 10 and 25 April.

Signed diversions are due to be put in place between 12:01am on April 10 to 12pm on April 11 and 12.30am on April 25 to 5am on April 26 while the A337 is closed and bus replacement services will be operating when trains are not running.

Network rail says it is especially important to check before travelling for people visiting Lymington for a Covid-19 vaccination.

Mark Killick, route director for Network Rail Wessex, said: “Working on level crossings over main roads is always a challenge for us and our neighbours and we only do it when we really have to.

"Replacing old, worn-out track is really important for the railway in the area, which we anticipate will soon be busy carrying people to the New Forest again, and we need to get this work done as soon as we can."

The "essential" work consists of removing and replacing sleepers, rails and ballast stones and is said to be needed in order to improve the quality of tracks in the area.

Due to ageing tracks, speed restrictions have been brought in to keep passengers safe, but now with this work, it is hoped trains will be able to get back up to full speed.