Why Bedford Place area?
Southampton City Council worked with the Business Improvement District (BID) for Southampton to introduce measures supporting the reopening of retail and hospitality in Southampton. In 2020, the BID / Go! Southampton launched the Southampton Inside Out campaign to allow businesses to create more outside seating. More details can be found here: https://www.gosouthampton.co.uk/southamptoninsideout/
As part of suggestions for Covid-19 mitigation measures, Southampton City Council received suggestions on creating more outdoor space and pedestrianised areas in the Bedford Place area on our Commonplace survey, which can be found here: https://southamptontravelmap.commonplace.is/
An analysis of Bedford Place and Carlton Place demonstrated that ten hospitality premises could make use of outdoor dining space if pedestrianisation were to occur. This came after businesses started making use of the suspended car parking bays to allow for outdoor tables and chair licensing along Bedford Place.
The temporary scheme has opened up the streets for pedestrians and for outdoor tables and chairs licensing, placing a restriction on motor vehicle access in areas on Bedford Place and Carlton Place.
- A section of Carlton Place and Bedford Place has been pedestrianised through a restriction on motor vehicle access. This has been enforced using a mixture of planters and concrete barriers and is in Bedford Place between Henstead Road and Carlton Place, in Carlton Place between Bedford Place and Southampton Street, and in Lower Banister Street between Carlton Place and opposite Popworld. Lower Banister Street allows two way traffic to provide access to the multi storey car park.
- The previous timed closure along Winchester Street, also introduced in support of this scheme, is no longer in place, as Winchester Street is currently being used as a diversion route while works are underway at Waterloo Terrace.
Why was the scheme put in place?
The trial of the Bedford Place pedestrianisation was installed as part of our Covid-19 response, to create additional space for social distancing and outdoor seating. This has allowed hospitality businesses to comply with Covid-19 restrictions which previously saw hospitality restricted to outdoors only. As we progress towards the further easing of Covid-19 restrictions, and guided by the latest round of feedback from businesses on Bedford Place, we have taken the decision to reopen Bedford Place on Monday 19th July.
What is an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order?
The restrictions have been implemented using an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order – this allows the council to give seven days' legal notice and install temporary infrastructure (in this case a mixture of planters and concrete blocks) to trial proposals. The council must commit to consult, monitor and evaluate during the experimental period. An Experimental Traffic Regulation Order lasts for 18 months, but at any time during the trial the council is able to modify or remove the scheme. At a period after six months, the council also has the option to make the scheme permanent and/or conclude the trial if it wishes.
Part of the monitoring of the scheme has included traffic counts on adjacent streets, observations on how the space has been used and analysis of feedback as part of the legal process. The council has also been consulting regularly with local businesses on the impact, and working closely with the Business Improvement District to assess the impact on retail, beauty and hospitality businesses.
How have you consulted?
Residents and businesses were consulted as part of the legal process for the Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders, under which this scheme has been trialled. Over the period of the trial we have been in communication with residents and businesses throughout to advise and remind them how to formally comment on the scheme.
In addition to this consultation, the Business Improvement District has carried out two whole area surveys with businesses and we have carried out a Bedford Place road specific business survey.
How can I access the area by car?
The scheme has seen the suspension of on-street car parking along Carlton Place (near Southampton Street) and on Lower Banister Street (outside Popworld). Other car parking in the area is available, such as the on-street parking on Upper Bannister Street and the off-street car parks at Amoy Street, Bedford Place Multi Storey off Lower Banister Street and Amoy Street car park.
Residential properties in the Polygon area such as Canton Street and Henstead Road are still able to access their properties although they may find that their route from the city or from the north will be more indirect and may take a little longer than usual due to the closure points.
From Monday 19th July, Bedford Place is to reopen. Carlton Place and Lower Banister Street will remain pedestrianised with a final decision to be made regarding these roads later this year.
What about the elderly and disabled?
The council carried out an Equality Impact Statement Assessment (EISA) which assessed the impact on different groups in the community, such as the elderly and disabled. The Assessment concluded that the scheme had no known impacts.
What are the effects on surrounding roads?
Diversion routes for the scheme have resulted in traffic being asked to use routes such as Carlton Crescent which may therefore receive an increase in traffic. Traffic has also been able to use Henstead Road to move around the road closure. The council has been monitoring the impact of increased traffic on these roads as part of the monitoring and evaluation component of the Experiment Traffic Regulation Order requirements.
When did it happen?
The installation of planters and barriers was carried out on Friday 21 August. The council worked with local businesses to establish table and chair licenses for the pedestrianised space from that date.
The trial continued over the winter, enabling essential retail to operate in line with social distancing guidance throughout the current national lockdown and during the previous four-week "circuit-breaker" in November.
Following a recent review of the pedestrianisation of Bedford Place, including a survey of businesses with frontages on the road, we have now taken the decision to reopen Bedford Place on Monday 19th July. You can view the survey results here. Please note, for data protection purposes we have not been able to share all the responses given, such as those relating to personal, business and commercially sensitive information.
We expect to make a final decision regarding the trial pedestrianisation of Carlton Place and Lower Banister Street later this year.
What's happening next?
Following a recent review of the trial pedestrianisation of Bedford Place (the road), including a survey of businesses with frontages on the road, we have now taken the decision to reopen Bedford Place. You can view the survey results here. Please note, for data protection purposes we have not been able to share all the responses given, such as those relating to personal, business and commercially sensitive information.
Bedford Place will be reopened on Tuesday 20th July following some works which are being carried out w/c 12 July. These include removing the painted street art; installing and relocating concrete barriers and planters; line marking the new Zebra crossing at the junction with Henstead Road; and introducing a 20mph zone on Bedford Place between Milton Road and Cumberland Place. Further details are available on the Bedford Place project page.
Carlton Place and Lower Banister Street will remain pedestrianised, with a final decision regarding these streets to be made later this year.
Looking ahead, we will work with local businesses and residents to help co-design changes which could encourage lower vehicle speeds through The Polygon and traffic calming measures to improve safety. We have allocated a budget of £150k to support the delivery of any recommendations made during this further engagement with local businesses and residents.
How can I comment?
The formal consultation period for the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order has now passed, however anyone wishing to comment on the scheme can still share their feedback by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org