Southampton Central set to be transformed to International Gateway with £5.5 million improvements

The revamp will deliver improved waiting areas including a new cruise passenger waiting lounge with real-time information, increased access to sustainable travel options, improved taxi rank, drop off facilities and improved car parking and loading facilities

CGI of the improvements

The improvements to the south side of the station, which includes a contribution from South Western Railway of £1.3 million, will start on 13 February in partnership with our highway’s partners Balfour Beatty Living Places with the forecourt aiming to be completed by July 2023. The planned measures will create an international gateway at Southampton Central Station, providing ease of access to the Port, cruise terminals and into the City Centre. 

Funding will be used to develop state-of-the-art new bus facilities including dedicated bus stops and improved bus accessibility. Pedestrians will benefit from improved access with dedicated crossing points within the forecourt with improved disabled parking and access. The crossing on Western Esplanade to the east of the station will be upgraded to enhance connections for people walking and wheeling to the International Maritime Promenade and the City Centre.

The new passenger waiting lounge will give shelter and comfort for passengers passing through the station, including the many cruise passengers that arrive by rail. The waiting lounge will be in a style that will complement the art deco style of the main station building.

Among the other upgrades will be a taxi waiting area for 10 vehicles along Western Esplanade and a taxi rank for 5 vehicles created in a dedicated area of the forecourt. All car parking will be moved to the west while parking for people with disabilities and 20 min waiting will remain within the forecourt area and benefit from an improved layout.

As the busiest station in Hampshire, managing 4.3 million passenger journeys a year (2019/20), the new facilities will significantly boost visitor numbers and support employment opportunities in tourism, retail and hospitality, and wider regeneration. This includes the planned new development at Maritime Gateway (old Toys R Us site), which is anticipated to start construction later this year and alongside the station improvements, forms part of the exciting Station Quarter development area.

The Southampton Central Interchange scheme forms part of the Council’s ambitious Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) programme, which focuses on transforming gateways into the City Centre and creating a greener, more inviting environment for everyone living, working, studying, and spending time in the city.

During the south side forecourt construction period there will be very limited vehicular access in this area. Taxis will only be available from the north side of the station for pick-ups. There will be no bus services available from the south side forecourt during this period. The existing south side bus services will either be available on the north side (Quay Connect) or at the bus stops outside Marlands/Asda. Diversions will be always signposted.

The Central Station improvements align with the ‘Connected Southampton 2040’ transport plan, a longer-term vision for the city offering a range of transport options including better interchanges at Central Station and a new bus hub at Albion Place to enhance and future proof bus operations into and around the City Centre.

Councillor Eamonn Keogh, Cabinet Member for Transport and District Regeneration said:

"First impressions are key, and the improvements planned at the south side of the station will create a sense of arrival and will also improve passengers’ experience. The plans for Central Station align in with our focus on public transport networks and making the most of gateways into the city, which will crucially support the wider regeneration of the area, such as the Maritime Gateway development. I look forward to seeing this project materialise through joint working with our partners Balfour Beatty Living Places, South Western Railway and Network Rail and am excited to see the revamped station in the Autumn."

View full details of the work phases