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Inner Avenue segregated cycle freeway (Phase 1 & 2)

Inner Avenue cycle scheme Northbound infographic


  • Where: Inner Avenue & Dorset Street
  • When: Phase 2 - Autumn 2019
  • What: Pedestrian and cyclist safety and priority improvements
  • Why: Encourage active travel and make cycling and walking a safer, more attractive experience
  • How: This £1.4m scheme is funded by Government through DEFRA's Joint Air Quality Unit Clean Air Zone Funding, with additional funding from Southampton City Council's Local Transport Plan

Inner Avenue has evolved

The project to upgrade Inner Avenue between London Road and Lodge Road was completed in June 2019. This was the first step in creating the SCN5 Cycle Freeway.

Copenhagen style cycle paths

A new ‘Copenhagen’ style cycle freeway has been constructed on Inner Avenue. This means that there is a one-way (with the direction of traffic) segregated cycle lane path on each side of the road. This style of cycle lane is common to parts of Scandinavia where they have much higher rates of cycling for work and leisure. New kerbs now separate people cycling from traffic, including buses, and away from people walking on the footways. People cycling are able to get on and off the new lanes at various points like side roads or the existing signal pedestrian crossings.

Continuous side road crossings

People walking and cycling on Inner Avenue now have priority over traffic coming in and out of the side roads. The junctions have been adjusted so that the road is at the same level as the foot/cycleway and laid out so traffic has to slow down when turning in and out, giving way to people using the crossings. The crossings have line markings and different coloured surfacing to highlight where the footpath and cycle way have priority.

Bus stop islands explained

The bus stops on Inner Avenue have remained in the same place but are now bypassed by the new segregated cycle lane. These new layouts make it safer for both people cycling and people getting on and off the buses. Buses do not have to overtake those cycling between bus stops and people cycling do not have to negotiate out around stopped buses. It also means people getting on and off the bus are separated from the cycle lane. This is called a bus stop island and is an essential part of the changes to Inner Avenue. This layout has worked well in places such as Brighton and Manchester.

Existing features retained

All of the trees and green space, the existing bus lanes, and the shared foot/cycleway on the western side of Inner Avenue have remained with this new scheme. With the new segregated cycle lanes we envisage that the existing foot/cycleway will be used by people who may not want to cycle in the lane and for people joining the Inner Avenue from Archers Road heading south. This will remove a lot of the conflict between people walking and cycling on this narrow section, making it safer and more pleasant.

Cycling from the Common & University to City Centre (Inner Avenue Southbound)

  • People cycling from the Common and University of Southampton who want to get to the City Centre should cross The Avenue using the existing Toucan crossing at St Andrew’s Church and cycle on the existing shared foot/cycleway on The Avenue to Lodge Road where they can join the southbound segregated cycle lane
  • People cycling along The Avenue heading towards the City Centre will naturally join the southbound cycle lane as they approach Inner Avenue after Lodge Road
  • Coming from the side roads such as Middle Street heading towards the City Centre people can easily join the southbound lane. From side roads on the western side, people can choose to use the existing shared foot/cycleway and go to London Road, or cross at the existing toucan crossings to the southbound lane and continue towards the residential areas or Dorset Street
  • At the southern end of Inner Avenue people will have a choice of whether to cross using the proposed new Toucan crossing on Dorset Street and go to the City Centre along London Road, or continue on a new shared foot/cycleway to Onslow Road and cross Dorset Street there to get to the Parks

Cyclists from the City Centre to the Common & University (Inner Avenue Northbound)

  • People cycling from the City Centre along London Road towards the Common and the University of Southampton will naturally join the northbound cycle lane at the Law Courts
  • People cycling from Onslow Road and St Mary’s can use the new shared foot/cycleway to the existing toucan crossing at Southcliff Road and cross the green space to the northbound cycle lane
  • People cycling from side roads on the western side can easily join the northbound cycle lane
  • For people cycling from side roads on the eastern side, there are short sections of two-way cycle lane to guide people to the existing toucan crossings to cross via the green space to get onto the northbound cycle lane

Download full size map 


To help guide people to where they want to go we have installed new signs that direct people to the right parts of the cycle lanes. These have been marked with a black 5 to indicate that this is part of the SCN5 cycle route.