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Bedford Place/Carlton Place - Temporary Pedestrianisation

Bedford Place and Carlton Place

Latest news

13 July 2021

As part of the upcoming reopening of Bedford Place (the road), we are making some changes to the area this week.

These include removing the painted street art; installing and relocating concrete barriers and planters; line marking the new Zebra crossing; and introducing a 20mph zone on Bedford Place between Milton Road and Cumberland Place.

These works will be undertaken in the following phases. Affected businesses will be contacted individually regarding necessary arrangements for their tables and chairs while the below works are in progress.

Phase 1: Removing painted street art - Friday 16 July (moved from Wednesday 14 July due to contractor delay) (from 7.30am – 5pm):  

The painted street art will be removed from the road surface up to the junction with Carlton Place.

Phase 2:  Relocating concrete barriers – Sunday 18 July (from 8pm up to 6am):

In response to feedback from those smaller venues who are using parking bays to provide some outdoor seating, the currently suspended parking spaces will remain as such when the road reopens. To support this, we will position concrete barriers and planters alongside the suspended bays on a trial basis. More details about this trial will be publicised in due course. We will also relocate some of the existing painted barriers to the junction with Carlton Place to protect the ongoing pedestrianisation of this section.

To facilitate the barrier movement, we are closing Bedford Place (road) from Grosvenor Square junction to Amoy Street with access for residents only from 8pm (see map). The barriers will be positioned using a crane after 10.30pm once the venues within the closure on Bedford Place have stopped trading.

Phase 3: Signing and lining – Monday 19 July, 6am – Tuesday 20 July, 8am :

Once the barriers have been positioned, a lining crew will paint in the new Zebra Crossing on Bedford Place between Carlton Place and Henstead Road. At the same time, temporary 20mph signs will be placed on frames along the route as part of a trial, with more details to follow in due course. These signs will be relocated onto lamp posts in the coming weeks.

Once this final phase of works is complete, Bedford Place will remain closed between Henstead Road and Carlton Place overnight using temporary barriers. The road will be fully reopened at 8am on Tuesday 20 July.

16 June 2021

We have now analysed the results of our recent survey of businesses on Bedford Place road and found that 57% of respondents are in favour of seeing the road reopened (section A on the map below). Click here for a breakdown of the survey results. 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 reopening

Given the continued recovery from Covid-19 and the ongoing progress towards the full easing of restrictions, and guided by the feedback we have received, we have taken the decision to reopen Bedford Place on Monday 19th July, after the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament has finished.

A wider package of measures is also being considered for the area, including a new zebra crossing which is to be installed over the summer across Bedford Place at the junction with Henstead Road, outside the Sainsbury’s store. Carlton Place and Lower Banister Street are to remain pedestrianised as part of the ongoing trial, with a final decision regarding these roads to be made later in the year.

The council’s highways partners, Balfour Beatty Living Places, will commence work to reopen Bedford Place next month; this will include changing the signage on Bedford Place and moving the concrete barriers. 

Looking ahead, we will continue to work with local traders 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.  

Ongoing updates regarding the reopening of Bedford Place will be available from @scchighways on Twitter and on this webpage.

The pedestrianisation will continue to be trialled on Carlton Place and Lower Banister Street (section B and C on the map above), which are not part of our review of the scheme; a final decision regarding these roads will be made later in the year.

26 May 2021

With the recent further easing of Covid-19 restrictions, including the reintroduction of indoor hospitality, we have today launched a survey to seek feedback from businesses on Bedford Place about the trial pedestrianisation of the road. This will run for two weeks. Businesses will receive further details about the survey from us in due course and will have the opportunity to discuss the scheme with us should they wish to. 

The pedestrianisation will continue to be trialled on Carlton Place and Lower Banister Street, which are not part of our review of the scheme; a final decision regarding these roads will be made later in the year.

As well as reviewing the closure on Bedford Place, we will be outlining plans in the coming weeks to address anti-social behaviour in the area and improve the local street scene; making it cleaner, tidier and more pedestrian friendly. A review of parking charges in the city centre is also set to take place as part of plans to encourage visitors into the city centre and support the city's economic recovery following the impact of Covid-19.

April 2021

We have partnered with Go! Southampton, Solent Showcase Gallery and Southampton architect Darren Bray to deliver a road painting project to further enhance the pedestrianised area of Bedford Place. This is a Go! Southampton funded initiative which will see the temporary installation of an interactive ‘grid’ design, conceived by local artist Amanda Moore, which will be laid out on sections of Bedford Place and Carlton Place. Local schoolchildren, artists and traders will then be invited to put their personal stamp on the artwork by ‘colouring in’ sections of the grid.

The artwork is currently being applied and is due to be completed next week (w/c 5th April). The designs will support the pedestrianisation scheme, which will continue to be trialled over the summer to support the reopening of local non-essential retail and hospitality venues from 12 April at the earliest. With hospitality businesses initially limited to operating outdoors, and the ongoing challenges of social distancing, the pedestrianisation of the area will create additional space for the safe provision of outdoor seating while helping to establish Bedford Place as a thriving, unique destination to shop, eat and drink.

March 2021

The trial pedestrianisation of the Bedford Place area has now been in place for seven months. Over that time, it has enabled essential retail businesses to operate safely and in accordance with social distancing guidance, particularly throughout the current national lockdown and the previous four-week "circuit-breaker" back in November.

As we look ahead, the trial will be ongoing over the coming summer to continue supporting social distancing and the recovery of non-essential retail and hospitality businesses in the area. These are set to reopen from 12 April at the earliest in accordance with the Government's Covid-19 roadmap. With hospitality initially restricted to operating outdoors in accordance with the Government's Covid-19 roadmap, the scheme will create additional space for social distancing and the safe provision of outdoor seating.

Since its launch, the scheme has evolved and concerns raised have, where possible, been addressed. We continue to actively monitor and review the impact of the scheme.

With the pedestrianisation staying in place over the summer, we continue to welcome feedback on the scheme from businesses, their users and residents. We will be engaging more closely with the local community in the coming months to provide opportunity for further comment. At the end of the summer period, we will make a final decision regarding the future of the scheme. This will take into consideration other upcoming schemes planned for the Polygon area as part of our wider plans for an Active Travel Zone

Scheme Details

The trial pedestrianisation in the Bedford Place area of the city centre was implemented in August 2020.

The temporary closures have been created by using a mixture of planters and concrete barriers which have been decorated. The roads affected include:

  • a closure along Bedford Place from Henstead Road to Carlton Place;
  • a closure along Carlton Place from Bedford Place to Southampton Street;
  • a closure along Lower Banister Street from Carlton Place to opposite the Popworld establishment;
  • two-way traffic permitted along the lower half of Lower Banister Street; and
  • a timed closure along Lower Banister Street on Friday-Saturday evenings (8pm-3am)

The previous timed closure of Winchester Street that was part of this scheme is no longer in place.  Winchester Street is being used as a diversion route while works on Waterloo Terrace are being carried out.

These measures formed an important contribution to the ‘Inside Out’ initiative launched last year by the council and the Southampton Business Improvement District (BID), Go! Southampton. This joint project was designed to help businesses in the hospitality sector introduce new or extended outdoor seating while social distancing restrictions limited the delivery of services in indoor settings. The temporary road closures in Bedford Place enhanced this further, giving businesses additional space to operate safely outdoors and creating the potential for increased trade. 

We're now working closely again with Go! Southampton to explore options to prepare the area for the upcoming reopening of non-essential retail and hospitality, including a street painting project to help bring the area further to life.

Businesses can apply for a pavement license here. Please read our FAQs for more information.

If you would like to provide feedback on the Bedford Place project, please email 

Hear what local businesses have to say about the scheme

Together with the walking and cycling charity Sustrans, we created a series of videos giving a snapshot of what some of the businesses in Bedford Place make of the trial pedestrianisation in the area. Watch our video below to hear what they had to say or click here to hear more from individual businesses.

Bollards have been spray painted to brighten up the scheme.


You can see a larger version of this image here.