Next phase of new cycle freeway completed
Southampton City Council has completed the third phase of its major transport project on The Avenue.
Improvements include newly surfaced, segregated on and off-road cycle lanes north and south bound and improved cycle and pedestrian crossings as part of the SCN5 Northern Cycle Freeway. The freeway forms a crucial part of the wider Southampton Cycle Network (SCN), which is delivering a series of high quality cycle routes across the city. Once complete, the SCN5 route will provide a pleasant and safe experience for people cycling between Southampton City Centre and Chandler’s Ford. It will also connect to the new shared use cycle/footway being developed by Hampshire County Council along Hut Hill.
Initial phases of the project along The Avenue included the installation of new ‘Copenhagen style’ cycle lanes along Inner Avenue. People cycling can now use the one-way, segregated cycle paths north and south bound, travelling separately from both traffic on the road and pedestrians on the footway. The latest phase of the scheme has provided further cycle facilities to extend the route from Lodge Road as far as Northlands Road.
Several of the improvements were completed before Christmas last year including a new parallel crossing at Northlands Road, improving cyclist and pedestrian access to The Common at the southern end. Since January, the council’s Highways Partner Balfour Beatty Living Places has been delivering the final stages of the project at the Banister and Lodge Road junctions.
Traffic signals at both junctions have been upgraded with the latest technology, enabling them to give additional priority to buses and respond more efficiently to vehicle demand. These improvements will contribute to more reliable journey times for people travelling by car and bus. The smart technology also means the new signals can be maintained with minimal impact, reducing the extent of future disruption to road users. Lodge Road has also benefited from resurfacing and a new toucan crossing and shared cycle/footway. These enhancements will improve access for people walking and cycling and will link key sections of the new segregated cycleway.
The finished scheme will make an important contribution to the council’s Local Transport Plan and Green City vision for a cleaner, greener, healthier and more sustainable city.
Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Place and Transport, says:
“The Avenue scheme forms a crucial part of our overall strategy to reduce congestion levels and improve the city’s air quality. Enabling more people to walk and cycle is imperative if we are to tackle these pressing issues and develop a transport network that works for everyone. Thank you to local residents and commuters for your patience as we have carried out this important work, which is vital to ensuring a successful, sustainable future for our city.”
The £1.3m Avenue cycle scheme has been funded by Tranche 1 of the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund, which in 2018 awarded £5.7m to Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council following a successful joint bid to central Government. Both authorities now await the outcome of their bid for a share of the second round of funding totalling £1.2bn.