Southampton City Council’s £25m cycling strategy moves into high gear

The Southampton Cycle Network is taking shape with more investment planned

Southampton City Council launched an ambitious ten year strategy in 2017 to transform the cycling experience in the city. People told us then that they wanted more cycle ways, and that safer roads, less traffic and better awareness would help them to cycle more often.

Two years later, we are pleased to report that significant progress has been made on completing the Southampton Cycle Network (SCN). We’ve already invested £2.4m in completed projects and a further £5.4m is committed to projects that will be delivered by summer 2019. The rate of delivery has been accelerated following successful bids for national finance sources from the Clean Air Zone Early Measures and National Productivity Investment Funds.

We've been working to improve the three main cycle free ways into the city from the SCN1 West, SCN10 East and SCN5 North. New segregated cycle way, improved existing cycle way, traffic calming and other safety measures are being introduced all across Southampton.
Many short journeys across the city are still made by car, with just under half (48%) of all journeys to work less than 3 miles. Over 80,000 people commute in to and out of Southampton for work, mainly to Totton, Chandlers Ford, Hedge End and Eastleigh – these are all within a cycleable distance.

We’ve worked extensively on encouraging and inspiring people to get cycling through our MyJourney campaign and initiatives:

• We’ve worked with 106 employers, from large to small, to help set up staff travel plans and support people to change their commute
• We’ve worked with 53 schools, reaching approx. 23,000 pupils so far. Four schools have achieved Gold mode-shift awards, the highest standard in supporting active travel on the school run
• We’ve helped set up 14 new community cycle hubs, run 152 led-rides, run 58 bike Dr events and hosted 16 ditch the stabiliser sessions that have helped 100 new young cyclists get riding

Increasing the number of people choosing to cycle can play a key role not just in reducing road congestion but in improving air quality and tackling inactivity and obesity. It is estimated that cycling provides over £5.5m of health economic benefits each year in Southampton.

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet Member for Transport & Public Realm, said:
“We’re making great progress towards the big goals we set for for cycling in Southampton in 2017. By the end of this financial year we will have invested £8m in cycling infrastructure alone. This is going towards improvements across the cycle network, making cycling safer and inspiring people to cycle. This has been made possible by the hard work of the transport team in making the case for investment in Southampton on a national stage. Watch this space as we look to accelerate this work in the coming months and years to achieve a transformation in the city where safe cycling is a daily norm for many more people.”

James Cleeton, Sustrans Director England South, said:
“Traffic congestion affects us all, and it’s encouraging that Southampton are improving cycling through new cycle ways and the My Journey engagement programme.
“I’m proud our school and workplace officers are part of a programme looking to make it easier to walk and cycle—whether that’s ditching the stabilisers for children, helping employees to become fitter through their commute or the other activities we run every day.”

Visit the My Journey website to find out more about cycling in Southampton and to find events and support near you.

We’ve teamed up with Love to Ride, a web and app based platform that gets more people cycling through a series of rewards based cycling challenges across the year. The partnership commenced in September last year and since then a total of 799 people in and around Southampton have recorded a ride on the app, including 178 new riders. This translates as 424,340 miles that have been cycled by Southampton participants, saving 90,742 lbs CO2. To sign up and find out more, visit

Pictured: recently created off-road cycle way on the SCN1 Western route at Second Avenue, Millbrook.

Cycling strategy progress 2019

More detail on cycling improvements in Southampton
On the SCN1 Western Cycleway improvements have included introducing and extending segregated cycle way parallel to Millbrook Road on First and Second Avenue and further work stretching along Millbrook Road East to the central train station will complete by this summer.
On the SCN5 Northern Cycleway the existing shared-use path between Banister Road and Northlands Road has been upgraded. Work will start on a new segregated cycle way on Inner Avenue this Feburary for completion by the summer.

On the SCN10 Eastern Cycleway work is underway on traffic calming and other improvements in Sholing and Bitterne. Work will begin work on a new segregated cycle way along the A3024 Burseldon Road as part of a major project to improve journey times on the Eastern Corridor into the city set to begin this April.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for our investment in the Southampton Cycle Network. Many more improvement projects have been completed, are active now or are in the pipeline. We will seek to secure more funding for cycling at every opportunity and continue to make the case for investment in Southampton on the national stage. In September 2018 we announced that Southampton made a shortlist of ten cities that are in the running to receive a share of the £840m Transforming Cities Fund from the Department for Transport.