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You are here:home > Environment > Future Southampton > City Centre > Latest News - 1 March 2014

Latest News - 1 March 2014

Platform Road banner image

Platform for Prosperity – Orchard Place junction and Town Quay

Work at Platform Road and Town Quay is progressing well. Work at the junction of Orchard Place and Platform Road was completed on 1 March (two weeks early). Work on Town Quay eastbound will continue until 21 March.

To enable this work, there is a necessary diversion of eastbound traffic, via the High Street and Briton Street, for the duration of the work, see online map. There will still be access for Lower Canal Walk and the Triangle Car Park, follow the diversion, around Queens Park and via Platform Road.

The work at Town Quay eastbound from High Street is to widen the eastbound side to two lanes up to the Orchard Place junction.

This is a key stage of the ‘Platform for Prosperity’ project, which will ultimately make travel to and from the docks easier and quicker, while better supporting residents, businesses and visitors to Southampton who use this vital route.

Town Quay (Mayflower Roundabout to High Street)

The enabling works have started along Town Quay between the High Street junction and the Mayflower Roundabout. These works, which will take until mid April to complete, will mostly be off the highway or will be carried out overnight and will include moving utilities and fencing back to prepare for widening the road and removing traffic islands.

The main highway improvements works will begin on 22 April and are programmed for 26 weeks.

What next for Platform Road and Town Quay - March 2014

  • In March, resurfacing and paving work will take place around Platform Road and Town Quay.
  • At the end of April / beginning of May the new dock gate 5 junction with open.
  • During May, Queens Terrace will become permanently closed to traffic at Terminus Terrace. This will enable the start of the environmental improvements along Queens Terrace which will include widening of the paving and provision of on-street parking to support local retail, cafes and restaurants overlooking Queens Park.
  • From April until October work will progress onto the last part of Town Quay, eastbound from West Quay Road to High Street.
  • From October the final landscaping work along Platform Road will be carried out, but this will not affect traffic using the road.

If you would like to receive regular email updates about these projects, you can subscribe to our Stay Connected e-alerts using the link on the left. For up-to-the-minute travel information follow us on Twitter @scchighways.

Thank you for your patience during these extensive road works which will increase the capacity of this important route to the city's Eastern Docks and provide environmental improvements to the area. This is an important investment in our road network that will support the expected economic growth of the city in the future.

City centre travel FAQs

1. Why has there been so much traffic congestion in the city recently?

There has been a combination of factors including ongoing essential roadworks in the city centre and other events like cruise ships in port, abnormal loads travelling through the city and football matches.

2. Why are there so many roadworks happening at the same time?

There are currently three main sets of roadworks in the city - at Platform Road / Town Quay, at Central Bridge and at the Station Quarter (north side). These works have been designed to run at the same time so that traffic delays are managed and the works completed as quickly as possible. This work has to happen now to reduce clashes with other essential major works that are planned for later in 2014. 

3. Southampton has always had cruise ships so why is it now causing congestion?

In 2004 Southampton received 203 cruise ships, bringing 532,501 passengers through the port. In 2014 Southampton is expected to receive over 430 cruise ships, with passenger numbers expected to exceed 1.6million.

Southampton is now the home port to vessels such as Independence of the Seas and Ventura, both handling passenger numbers of 4375 and 3192 respectively. The road works will improve traffic capacity to accommodate this growth to ensure that the increasing numbers of cruise passengers can travel to Southampton with ease for years to come.

4. Why are some days worse than others?

On some the combination of events in the city can impact upon normal traffic patterns and the peak hours can extend later into the morning or evening periods. Where this happens we keep the peak hour traffic management arrangements in place until the traffic levels subside.

We currently have work restricting Town Quay as we carry out works to widen this stretch of road. This is causing some delays. We are looking at ways to minimise the disruption.

5. Why is Central Bridge closed?

The fabric of the oldest part of Central Bridge is deteriorating and we urgently need to replace the waterproof membrane below the road surface. This part of the bridge is owned by the council and we have attracted significant funding from the government to carry out the works. Work must be completed in 2014 to avoid clashes with other planned major work and to meet the funding requirements.

6. Who decides when roadworks take place?

The council has a Network Management duty to ensure that congestion is reduced as much as possible, while enabling roadworks to take place. The current works have been planned to run together and reduce the overall time that the network is congested. Doing the works separately would add another six months of delays.

7. Isn’t this unfair to residents and visitors who now have longer journeys?

The council is responsible for ensuring that the road network is maintained. The improvements at Platform Road will unblock an area of the city that had increasing problems with congestion and this work, when complete, should significantly reduce journey times. The scheme also has wider environmental improvements and has already helped create almost 500 new jobs in the city as businesses invest in anticipation of the improvements.

8. Why isn’t work carried out 24 hours a day seven days a week to speed up work?

We are working 7.30am to 5pm weekdays six days a week at Platform Road. All the schemes are close to residential areas which we need to be sensitive of. We do work overnight and at weekends to carry out critical work that might create significant disruption at other times. There are significant costs attached to working 24/7 and the funding for the schemes is not sufficient to accommodate the additional costs.

9. Why don’t you just stop the works for a few weeks and give us a break?

The government funding for the major roadworks is conditional on the works being completed to challenging timescales. This means that the sites will only be closed down for the normal holiday period as any earlier stoppage would significantly impact on the programme. 

Both schemes are at advanced stages of construction so stopping work on site would not necessarily mean that the temporary traffic management could be removed. 

There are also other major schemes on similarly tight deadlines due to start in 2014. We want to complete the current work before these begin.

10. Why are you not suspending the Itchen Bridge toll whilst the works are taking place?

The toll is a separate issue that is not connected to the works being carried out. Any decision to remove the toll would not be in accordance with the Hampshire Act under which the toll is levied.

11. How do I submit a comment or complaint?

You can contact Actionline on 0800 519 1919 or email actionline@southampton.gov.uk to register your comments and make suggestions.

12. What are you doing to ensure buses can still run?

We meet with the bus companies regularly and consult with them on the traffic arrangements. Where possible we amend our proposals to give buses priority into and out of the city at peak periods.

13. Are there any alternatives available to me?

If you are able to travel outside normal peak hours you should find that the delays are minimal. If you can car share or change from car to public transport then this would reduce the number of vehicles on the roads and assist with traffic flow.

Check traffic bulletins before travelling on non-essential journeys at peak hours. Information can be obtained from local radio stations, Citywatch website, the @scchighways twitter feed and by signing up to our Stay Connected road works updates.  

14. Why should I come to Southampton city centre?

Southampton is very much open for business, with a huge variety of independent shops and major shopping centres. There is plenty of parking in the city centre and the off peak delays on the network are minimal. Checking before you travel is the best way to ensure that your visit is enjoyable. For up to the minute traffic and travel information follow us on twitter @SCCHighways

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