Southampton City Council is set to commence a major transport improvement scheme on the northern and western sections of the Ring Road (Brunswick Place, Cumberland Place and Havelock Road)
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The aim of the Ring Road project is to improve journey times for people driving along it, making buses at London Road and West Park Road more reliable through bus priority technology, and assisting people crossing the Ring Road on foot or cycle with safer and more direct crossings.
These form part of the wider £57M Government funded Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) programme in Southampton and Hampshire aimed at improving connectivity and sustainable travel choices along the main transport corridors.
The scheme includes:
- Refurbishment and modernisation of the traffic signals at the junctions with Bedford Place, London Road, Commercial Road, and West Park Road with new technology. That will allow them to be more efficient, adapting to traffic demand and improving journey time reliability along the Ring Road
- Bus priority to assist buses in crossing the Ring Road more efficiently at two key junctions, improving journey times and reliability
- Footpath and crossing facility upgrades for people with limited mobility, as well as those who are walking and cycling. This will make it safer and more direct to cross between the City Centre, London Road, Bedford Place, the Mayflower Theatre and the Parks
- Footways and road section resurfacing or repaving with higher quality materials to further enrich the area
At Devonshire Road, the traffic lights will be removed and the road will be closed at the Cumberland Place junction. This will allow the Ring Road to operate more smoothly, as the current signals are close to the Commercial Road-West Park Road junctions and cause additional delays to traffic. To ensure that people can still cross Cumberland Place, a signal-controlled pedestrian crossing will replace the traffic signals.
A new pocket park at the Devonshire Road junction will also be created through closing the Devonshire Road arm and removing the traffic signals at this junction. The pocket park aims to create an attractive safe area with additional lighting, planting and places to rest.
The Ring Road scheme has been developed following close engagement with the public and businesses, with residents invited to feedback on the detailed design of this scheme along with other City Centre proposals. More than half of the respondents agreed with the proposals.
The improvements will start on Monday 5 February 2024 with completion in summer 2024. The works will be delivered by the council’s highways partner, Balfour Beatty Living Places.
The Department for Transport funded TCF scheme will take place along the Ring Road, from the junction of Brunswick Place and London Road to the junction of Havelock Road and West Park Road by the BBC Studios. It will include the junctions of London Road, Bedford Place, Devonshire Road, Commercial Road and West Park Road.
The works being undertaken will be significant, so to reduce their impact while still allowing local access, an anti-clockwise one-way system will be introduced during the works. Vehicles will only be able to travel anti-clockwise on the section of the Ring Road from Charlotte Place to the Civic Centre Junction. Traffic going west to east will need to use New Road and St Andrew’s Road to travel to Charlotte Place. Some bus services may be diverted onto alternative routes.
To ensure there is minimal disruption, an intelligent temporary traffic signal system will provide smoother and more efficient traffic movements in the area during construction, by enabling quicker reaction times to live traffic situations.
These upcoming works form the third and final part of the TCF Ring Road scheme and they will ultimately result in quicker and safer journeys for drivers. Improvements have already been made in 2021 and 2022 at Grosvenor Square. This was changed to one-way south-bound, and where a new contraflow cycle lane was created, as well as the installation of Southampton’s first on-street electric vehicle charging points. The parking layby on Brunswick Place was also resurfaced and electric vehicle charging points installed.
Councillor Eamonn Keogh, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment comments:
“Drivers across Southampton will benefit from faster and safer journeys thanks to these changes, which utilise state-of-the-art technology to improve traffic flows. The direct crossings for people walking and cycling create better routes into the City Centre, and bus priority is helping to make buses more reliable in Southampton.
“Our aim is to create a network that is safe, attractive and accessible however you get around the city.
“I would like to thank everyone for their patience whilst the works are taking place, we are working with Balfour Beatty Living Places to ensure there is minimal disruption.”
For more information please see Transport Southampton.