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Connected Southampton 2040 - Local Transport Plan

Our vision for transport

By 2040, Southampton will be transformed through bold and ambitious plans to change how the city looks and feels.

Our vision is to make Southampton a modern, liveable and sustainable place to live, work and visit by investing in better and more innovative transport. Over the next 20 years, we want to secure a successful future for the city and improve the quality of life of all its residents.

Our challenges

Looking ahead to 2040, these are the main challenges transport in Southampton will have to address:

  • Another 30,000 people will be living in Southampton, the equivalent of adding a town the size of Windsor - this could result in 74,000 more people making trips across the city each day
  • Southampton is an international maritime hub. The Port will continue to grow in future, with the volume of goods and cruise ships passing through expected to double by 2040
  • Some pockets of Southampton are among the most deprived in England. People living there rely more on public transport, and being close to busy roads means they can experience higher levels of air pollution. Improved transport can connect people to jobs, improve air quality, and enable people to walk and cycle for shorter journeys
  • Congestion costs the city around £100m a year, and as the city grows congestion could increase. We must plan and invest to reduce congestion and its negative impacts

It’s an exciting time to be living and working in Southampton. To make sure the city thrives, we must think differently about transport. We are planning for clean, green and sustainable growth that puts people first.

Our goals

To meet these challenges, we have identified three strategic goals:

  • A Successful Southampton – improving transport to support the sustainable economic growth of Southampton. Investing in transport will enable people and goods to get around more easily
  • A System for Everyone – making Southampton a safe and attractive place to live to improve quality of life. Ensuring everyone is included with access to transport
  • A Better Way to Travel – supporting people to change how they move around the city by widening their healthy and clean travel choices by encouraging them to get around actively and healthily, and helping Southampton become a zero emission city

southampton cycle paths

Big ideas for 2040

We have some big ideas for improving transport in Southampton. You can explore our plans and see what progress we've made so far by following the links below. Download the full length plan if you're interested in reading all the detail.

The Southampton Mass Transit System

We plan to transform the public transport system in Southampton and the wider area. This will allow people to travel easily around and across Southampton on reliable, high quality vehicles. There will be a united system that allows people to make and pay for their journeys seamlessly.

The first step on this journey is setting out a new Enhanced Partnership with the local bus operators. 

The Government published its National Bus Strategy in March and put a requirement on Council’s with transport powers to start to work with bus operators on the development of new partnerships to increase bus patronage.  Southampton City Council has decided to start the process of entering into an Enhanced Partnership.  Through this the Council will work with bus operators, stakeholders and the public to develop a scheme that improves buses, making them easier to use, and help Get Southampton moving.

A ‘Liveable’ City Centre

Over time, we are planning to turn the City Centre into a place where people want to live, work, and spend time. Transport can make this happen by ensuring it’s easy for people to walk, cycle or use the Mass Transit System. It can also contribute to creating attractive public spaces that people want to visit. Check out our work in Guildhall Square for a taster of how this is already taking shape.

Active Travel Zones

We will work with local communities to roll out a network of Active Travel Zones in your neighbourhoods. These zones will seek to encourage people to walk and cycle for short trips, providing a wider range of clean and green travel options and introducing measures that help to discourage traffic.

Park & Ride 

We plan to establish a network of Park & Ride sites that serve the places people work and go for leisure or retail, including the City Centre. These sites would be on the edge of the city and part of Local Mobility Hubs closer in, where people can park before continuing their journey by bus, cycle, walking, e-bike or car-share.

The Southampton Cycle Network (SCN) 

Our ten year cycling strategy sets out an ambitious plan to make Southampton a true cycling city. We are developing a network of high quality cycle routes, ranging from Cycle Freeways to ‘Quietways’, so that people can cycle wherever they want to go. Our first routes are being built now. You can get the latest developments on the Southampton Cycle Network on our cycling page. 

A Zero Emission City 

We will work towards becoming a clean and healthy zero emission city by reducing traffic emissions through support of alternative fuels and intelligent management of traffic. Find out more about how we are supporting people to switch to electric vehicles.

Better Connections

We will need to have reliable transport connections to Southampton’s main employment areas so people can get to work and businesses can move their goods, including the Port, industrial areas, the hospitals and universities. This will help support economic growth for the city and improve productivity. Check out our Major Projects page to see the works taking place to secure the long term prosperity of the city.