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Portland Terrace bus/taxi/cycle only FAQ's

Where is the bus/taxi/cycle area on Portland Terrace?

The stretch of road between Spa Road, to the rear of Boots, and Castle Way Car Park will become bus/taxi/cycle only from Monday 13 November.

Who is allowed through the bus/taxi/cycle section of road?

Only authorised vehicles are allowed, these include: 

  • Buses
  • Southampton licensed taxis whilst on duty
  • Cyclists (not motorcycles/mopeds)
  • Emergency vehicles.
  • Any other service vehicle, carrying out a statutory duty e.g. gritting, refuse collection, that cannot use another route for their purpose and require constant use of the vehicle.


What are the benefits of changing the road to bus/taxi/cycle only?

  • To improve bus journey times to the new Albion Place bus hub, which is planned for construction early next year.  
  • Improved bus journey times by up to 10 minutes for buses crossing the city from east to west and back again
  • Pedestrians and cyclists will benefit as it will create a safer environment for all.  
  • Taxi drivers, who use this road for transporting passengers from Central Station to the docks and city centre will also benefit from the improved journey times, as will people with mobility issues who use taxis to move about the city.

I’m a blue badge holder can I drive through the bus/taxi/cycle only section of road?

No, blue badge holders are not classed as an authorised vehicle. 

Can emergency vehicles get through?

Yes emergency vehicles can drive through this area. 

Will the bus/taxi/cycle only section of road be enforced?

Since the introduction of the bus/taxi/cycle only restriction, there has been a significant reduction in the number of vehicles on Portland Terrace. However, the number of vehicles on the road is still causing delays to bus operations, so we will be increasing the signage on approach roads and introducing enforcement measures.
From Monday 26 February, people who drive through the restriction will receive a Warning Notice, and on their second contravention, they will receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £70 (reduced to £35 if paid within 21 days).
Warning Letters and PCN’s will be sent through the post. To allow enough time between a Warning Notice being processed and received by the driver, there will be approximately two weeks after a Warning Notice is activated and a PCN is issued.
All money received from Penalty Charge Notices will be used to pay for the upkeep and running of the camera system and any surplus funds are reinvested into Southampton’s transport network as set out in national legislation.


I’m a Southampton registered taxi, can I access the bus/taxi/cycle only section and where do I drop off?

Yes, all private hire vehicles registered in Southampton are allowed in the bus/taxi/cycle only section. Drop offs will be in the same area as before, in the taxi rank on Portland Terrace. 

I’m a private hire vehicle registered outside of Southampton, can I access the bus/taxi/cycle only section of road and if not where do I drop off my customers?

Private hire vehicles licensed outside of Southampton are exempt Monday to Friday between 7am and 9:30am and 4pm to 6:30pm providing they were first registered after 1st September 2015 for diesel vehicles or after 1st January 2006 for petrol vehicles. Outside of those hours the nearest customer drop of points would be the side roads to the north of the restriction including Portland Street and Spa Road.


Where is the Shopmobility site?

From 7 November 2023 Shopmobility have moved to a new location in West Quay, their new address is, Podium Car Park Level 0, West Quay, Harbour Parade, Southampton SO15 1QE.

All memberships will continue, and scooter charges will stay the same. Opening times will be the same - Monday to Friday 09:15 to 16:00 

If you have any questions or queries, please contact Shopmobility on 02380 631263 

What are the alternative routes into the city centre?

All other vehicles will still be able to access parking and services along Portland Terrace via either accessing from the north via Civic Centre Road/Havelock Road or from the South via Town Quay. Through traffic is still able to use the ring road along with local roads. 

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Can I apply for a permit?

There will be no permits issued for vehicles to access the restricted are in Portland Terrace.  The only vehicles able to drive through are those on the exemption list (see above.)

Will I received a warning before an infringement notice?

As per the current government guidelines, motorists will received a warning letter the first time they drive through the bus/taxi/ cycle restriction in the first six months of enforcement.

After the six month period, no warning notice will be issued.

With Albion Place and Castle Way car parks being removed will there be adequate parking spaces in the city centre?

Car parks in the city centre will easily be able to meet the demand for parking, even with the closure of Castle Way and Albion Place car parks. 

The below car parks are nearest to the Albion Place and Castle Way car parks. Parking reviews demonstrated that the spare capacity across these car parks is greater than the number of spaces at both Albion Place and Castle Way at all times.


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Further car parks in the city centre include: 

  1. Marlands Car Park
  2. West Quay Podium car park
  3. West Quay retail park
  4. Ikea Car Park
  5. Gloucester Sq car park


How are the works funded?

These works are paid for by the Government via a grant awarded to the Southampton Region by the Department for Transports Transforming Cities Fund.