Southampton City Council to unlock bold transport plans for city centre with upcoming works at Northern Inner Ring Road

The plans are part of a £4.5m investment to transform how people and goods move around the city centre

Southampton City Council is set to commence a major £4.5m investment in the city centre road network, with improvements identified for the A3024 Northern Inner Ring Road between Western Esplanade and Charlotte Place. The project forms part of a series of planned city centre transport schemes to be delivered as part of the council’s ambitious Transforming Cities programme.

Devonshire Road

Before and after: Proposals for Devonshire Road from part of the plans for the Northern Inner Ring Road

In a move that will transform how people and goods move around the city centre, the Northern Inner Ring Road is to benefit from innovative traffic signal technology and a number of targeted junction improvements including at Havelock Road, Cumberland Place and Brunswick Place. Traffic signals on the route will be intelligently coordinated and upgraded with dynamic technology, while their overall number will also be reduced. Together these changes will help to better manage traffic flows and improve journey time reliability. The route will also see improved pedestrian crossing facilities, linking the city’s parks and enhancing access for people walking and cycling. These changes are due to commence in summer 2021.

As part of these improvements to the Northern Inner Ring Road, the Devonshire Road and Grosvenor Square junctions will undergo changes. The council is now undertaking public consultation with residents of The Polygon on proposals to close the junction of Devonshire Road with Cumberland Place and make Grosvenor Square one way southbound only. Further information about these plans is available on our website Connecting Southampton

Additionally, residents of The Polygon were recently invited to take part in an initial perception survey, asking for their thoughts and comments on the area. The results of this survey will be processed along with findings from the current consultation on the trial pedestrianisation of nearby Bedford Place. Following this, residents will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with the council to co-design and construct other schemes in the area. 

The proposals for Devonshire Road and Grosvenor Square, alongside other planned junction improvements, will enhance the central function of the Northern Inner Ring Road in providing effective traffic connections to other key routes and ensuring that traffic can move efficiently around – rather than directly through – the city centre to access destinations. This will prove vital to building resilience in the city’s transport network as the city centre continues to grow.

Crucially, the changes will also unlock plans for wider upcoming improvements to be constructed in the city centre over the next two years. As well as helping to tackle congestion and supporting more reliable journeys for people driving, these planned improvements will help to reduce through traffic movements in other parts of the city centre with higher levels of pedestrian footfall. This will result in a more liveable, pleasant and cleaner environment that is safer and more accessible for those travelling by sustainable means in the heart of the city. 

A full launch of all of the upcoming city centre schemes to be delivered as part of the Transforming Cities programme will follow in February.

Councillor Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member for Green City and Place, says:

“This upcoming work represents an exciting milestone in our multi-million-pound project to improve the movement of traffic around our city centre. As we look ahead, it’s crucial that we keep our roads, people and goods moving. These measures will do just that and will deliver on the goals set out in our long-term Local Transport Plan; helping to tackle congestion, air pollution and ensure that the heart of the city provides a pleasant and welcoming place to live, work, shop and visit. I’m delighted to see this work now beginning to take shape and look forward to further exciting developments on the horizon.”