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You are here:home > Environment > Future Southampton > City Centre > Eastern Cycle Route

Eastern Cycle Route

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Latest update

The first element of work on the eastern cycle route at the junction of Saltmarsh Road and Itchen Bridge is now complete. This Eastern Cycle Route Saltmarsh Junction leaflet gives directions about how to use the new layout. You can also check out this short film of how to use the new junction layout. Despite the recent weather conditions, the wettest on record, we have managed to complete overnight works to resurface the junction. Work is continuing to install the traffic signals, street lighting and trees.

When first opened there may be some initial delays as drivers and cyclists get used to the new junction and while our engineers optimise the traffic signals for conditions at different times of the day.

Eastern Cycle Route - Phase one

In June 2012, Southampton City Council successfully secured £1 million additional transport funding through the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund to introduce the proposed eastern cycle route, which will be built in phases. With cross boundary links, the route will provide a safe cycling route from Hedge End and Botley (to the east of the city), through to Southampton Central Station.

Phase one of the project began in October 2013 and will be completed by 2015. This first phase will include safety improvements to Saltmarsh Road Junction and improvements to cycle infrastructure on Central Bridge, Marsh Lane and Evans Street.

The other phases to be implemented as funding becomes available.

Saltmarsh Road Junction

Initial work as part of Phase one was to improve safety and access for cyclists at Saltmarsh Road junction between Itchen Bridge and Central Bridge. The remodelled junction opened on 15 February 2014.

The work has transformed the current roundabout into a continental inspired traffic light controlled junction. This is to improve safety for cyclists, following seven serious cycling accidents in three years and feedback from a city wide cycle survey - the largest of its kind in any UK city.

Connected future work

Major reconstruction work to part of Central Bridge and work to allow two way traffic along Terminus Terrace, up to Central Bridge, is expected to start at the end of March 2014. Work is being programmed to minimise disruption and delays. More details about work on Central Bridge can be found here.

For further information on the proposals please see the pdf documents and our answers to frequently asked questions below.

Eastern Cycle Route FAQs

1. Why did we do the work at Saltmarsh Road Junction now?

The timing is partly down to funding but mainly to avoid conflict with other major highways work planned for 2014. This includes work at Northam River Bridge(waterproofing), Town Quay (as part of the Platform for Prosperity Project) and Evans Street (for the new Morrison's development, see below).

2. Where next for the Eastern Cycle Route?

The Eastern Cycle Route phase one work will continue in the summer 2014 and extend the route over Central Bridge and up to Kings Way, creating a new direct two way cycle path for the City Centre. Improvements will link in with work to create access to the new Morrison's Superstore at the former East Street Shopping Centre site. This will include the creation of a new roundabout junction at Evans Street and Marsh Lane.

3. What does the new junction look like

The continental inspired junction looks similar to a conventional junction however there will be signed stopping areas for cyclist to enable them to turn right in two stages. There will be advanced traffic signals for cyclists in the stopping area. There are also new pedestrian crossing points.

Saltmarsh Junction design image

4. When was the public consultation?

The public consultation was held via a series of drop-in sessions between February and March 2013 to give local people an opportunity to view the proposals and make suggestions for the improvement works. All the feedback received from the public was reviewed with overall support for the changes. A summary report of the consultation is now published, see bottom of the page.

If you would like to contact the team behind the new Eastern Cycle Route, write to:

Eastern Cycle Route
Travel and Transport Policy
4th Floor, One Guildhall Square
Southampton SO14 7FP

Or email:

5. Who is funding all this work?

Southampton City Council is responsible for the roads and bridges in the city and has successfully secured funding to help pay for these works from many sources, including the LSTF (Local Sustainable Transport Fund), developers, Sustrans, Department for Transport and RGF (Regional Growth Fund).

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 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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