Works set to complete on new pedestrian zone at Guildhall Square in Southampton’s Cultural Quarter

We made the decision to ensure public safety in this popular area.

We are working to introduce a new pedestrian zone in Guildhall Square with the installation of access posts on West Marlands Road to restrict vehicles entering the square.

The works are being carried out by our highways partners Balfour Beatty and are set for completion by the end of this week.

West Marlands Road will no longer be a through route and access will only be granted to authorised vehicles with a legitimate reason to enter. Permanent posts have also been placed around the perimeter of the square. The placement of all the posts has been carefully considered to ensure people in wheelchairs, mobility scooters and parents pushing buggies are not restricted.

Why do we need to restrict vehicle access?

We made the decision to ensure public safety in this popular area following a recommendation made by Central Government and Hampshire Police in 2018. The recommendation was made in response to recent events, in the UK and abroad, where locations that attract large crowds became the targets of terrorist attacks involving vehicles.

This follows similar work which took place late last year to install permanent vehicle access posts on Above Bar Street. Restricting vehicle access will also stop West Marlands Road being used as a through route with the added benefit of making it a safer and more attractive public space for people to enjoy on foot.

Cllr Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet Member for Transport & Public Realm, said: “Our thriving Cultural Quarter is an increasingly popular area for residents and visitors. The new posts are a simple and attractive introduction which keep vehicle movements in Guildhall Square to a minimum. The work ensures it will remain an attractive and safe space for people to enjoy all that Southampton has to offer, from live music and theatre to bars, coffee shops and restaurants, and two outstanding art galleries.”