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Portswood Project

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Programme progress

Latest News

31 May 2024

Co-design Workshops

Any ATZ will be developed through co-design with the local community. Residents are invited to attend workshops to co-design measures to limit the impact of a trial Portswood Road bus/taxi/cycle-only section on adjacent streets in Highfield and south of the Broadway. The main area of focus for these workshops will be Brookvale Road, Abbotts Way, Russell Place, Westridge Road and Belmont Road.

Workshop Dates/Venues

  • Monday 8 July, 6-7.30pm at Highfield Church hall SO17 1RL
  • Wednesday 10 July, 6.30-8pm at Portswood Church main hall SO17 2FY
  • Friday 12 July, 12-1.30pm at Portswood Church back hall SO17 2FY
  • Tuesday 16 July, 6-7.30pm at Highfield Church hall SO17 1RL
  • Thursday 18 July, 6-7.30pm at Highfield Church hall SO17 1RL

To take part in any of these events please book here.

21 May 2024

The Portswood project steering group had its first meeting on Thursday 16 May.  Below is a summary of the meeting:

The group brought itself up to date with the details of the proposed scheme. The group agreed the terms of reference and work programme. The group agreed the areas to be covered by the ATZ co-design process. The group gave initial reactions to the draft sketches of how the bus gate might operate. The group agreed to set up a sub group to work with officers on possible measures of success.

The next meeting of the group will be on 16 July.

19 March 2024

A part time bus gate will be trialled on Portswood Road from early 2025

Portswood Road bus gate

  • Bus gate (motor vehicle restriction) to be trialled on Road between Westridge Road and St Denys Road spur
  • Operational 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm Monday – Saturday
  • Access for loading HGVs will be retained through the bus gate south – north, with a loading bay proposed for St Denys Road spur road
  • Introduced on a trial basis initially (minimum 6 months) to assess the impact.

Active Travel Zone

  • Measures to limit the impact on adjacent streets will be trialled alongside the bus gate
  • Any Active Travel Zone will be developed through co-design workshops with the local community indicating which measures they would like to see on their streets.

Steering Group

  • A Steering Group will be established to oversee the implementation and outcome of the bus gate trial
  • The group is to be made up of representatives from local residents’ associations, retailers / traders, representatives from lobby groups such as people with mobility issues.

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8 January 2024 

The results and analysis of the phase two consultation of the Portswood Project have now been published and you can view them here.

The consultation received 1,371 submissions and with 60% of respondents saying that it will make Portswood a more attractive area.  

We have taken on board the feedback and the recommendation going to Cabinet on the 16 January is that the scheme will be amended as follows:  

  • It is proposed to have a part time restriction on the bus/taxi/cycle only section of road – 7am to 10am, and 4pm to 7pm. This will allow access to all vehicles outside of these times and emergency service vehicles will be exempt from the restriction.
  • Ongoing engagement with local businesses via the Portswood Business Engagement Forum.  
  • The scheme will be introduced on a trial basis initially for six months to assess the impact of limiting through traffic in the area. 
  • A community co-design panel to be established to help shape the trial and address issues that were raised in the consultation responses, such as access for people with mobility issues and impacts on businesses. 
  • The length of the bus/taxi/cycle only section of road will be reduced to be from Westridge Road to St Denys Road spur (near Trago Lounge) 

August 2023

In November 2022 we conducted Phase 1 of the Portswood Project consultation. This has shown that there is support for the scheme with many people wanting better access to sustainable transport such as walking, cycling and public transport, the introduction of green space and a more attractive high street.  

The consultation has also shown there are concerns, and areas where people want additional information about the scheme. In the table below is a summary of the areas of concern and how we are working to address them.  

Phase 2 Consultation 

This consultation will run until 1 October 2023.

As part of the second phase of consultation, we are sharing the additional information gathered during further assessments on the potential impact of the scheme. This includes the impact of potential traffic displaced from the Broadway onto local roads, the impact on the local economy, information on how motor vehicle access will be maintained and how this scheme contributes to the City’s Net Zero target.  

Drop-in Sessions 

We would like to invite you to two drop-in sessions which will be held at the corner of Portswood Road and St Denys Road (weather permitting) on Wednesday 06 September (4-7pm) and Monday 11 September (4-7pm) where you will be able to ask questions and get clarification on any of the proposals.  

Areas of concern and requests for further information

What we are doing to address concerns  

Impact on local roads: concerns the scheme will have a detrimental impact on local roads.  

Many people raised the concern about additional traffic using local roads to get through the area should a bus gate be introduced.   

 To further assess this, additional traffic modelling and counts were commissioned in April 2023*. It is also proposed that an Active Travel Zone be introduced in the Highfield area (to be designed with the local community) to minimise any impact from the proposals, while maintaining access for residents. 

*Correction: traffic counts were carried out in March 2023 but were processed by officers in April 2023. 

Impact on the local economy: concerns the scheme would have a detrimental impact on local businesses  

People have expressed concern that the proposals could harm local businesses.  

 To further investigate the scheme’s impact and address concerns, Southampton City Council has commissioned an independent Economic Impact Assessment.   

The first stage of the report focuses on the potential effects of the scheme on the Portswood Business district, the second phase will focus on providing advice and guidance on how businesses can get the full benefit of the scheme should it go ahead.   

Maintaining access for the elderly and disabled:  concerns that this has not been fully considered  

Access for people with mobility issues, especially those that have no alternative but to use their car, will be maintained.  

 While some people may need to make longer journeys around the bus gate, we commit to: 

  • maintaining access to all car parks in the area;  
  • increase the level of parking for people with disabilities;   
  • improving existing access to Westridge Road Car Park;  
  • providing additional disabled accessible crossings;   
  • improving footways on main and local roads.  

Phased implementation of the scheme  

The Council is currently investigating a possible phased introduction of the scheme should it proceed, to ensure mitigation measures are in place before significant works are carried out.   

Air quality and environmental benefits  

Southampton City Council adopted its Green City Plan in 2020, establishing a vision and a set of commitments that seek to achieve improvements in the city environment. This includes actions to improve air quality, the natural environment and establishes a 2030 net zero target for emissions from its own operations and services.  

With nearly a third of the city’s carbon emissions coming from the transport sector, reducing motor vehicle emissions and providing reliable and safe alternative modes of travel is a key part of meeting our targets and improving our air quality.  

A key way we are doing this is by improving our public transport network, along with making our roads safer for people to access other more sustainable modes of travel such as walking and cycling.  

The Council is also committed to seeing a continual improvement in air quality across the city under its Air Quality Action Plan and reducing impact from vehicle emissions through measures set out in the Local Transport Plan.  

Improving public transport services  

Traffic and congestion can cause significant delay to our bus and taxi services. The existing congestion through Portswood Broadway is currently causing delays to journeys across the area for those wanting to use public transport.  

Bias in the consultation and questionnaire  

All efforts are made by council officers to keep consultation materials factually based and question natural. Based on previous concerns we have taken extra steps to assess the materials and questions to ensure greater impartiality.  

The consultation questionnaire and materials have been submitted to the council’s Insights Data Team who have reviewed them. This team is separate from the Transport department and have provided us with advice about how to better frame questions to maintain neutrality.   

Tackling crime and antisocial behaviour  

Crime and antisocial behaviour is a key concern raised in phase 1 of the consultation. Local street drinking, assaults, theft and other crimes are something we all take very seriously.  

We are working in partnership with the police and local businesses to improve surveillance and raise awareness of how to report crimes. Further information can be found under the Reducing Crime section on this site.  

A335 Thomas Lewis way improvements  

These proposals would mean that significant levels of traffic would shift away from Portswood Broadway and on to Thomas Lewis way.   

The improvements to A335 Thomas Lewis Way focus on its key junctions, with signal technology being upgraded, pinch points being removed and crossing facilities being upgraded at its junction with St Denys Road. These works are to improve journey times and capacity, in order to facilitate the additional traffic. With the majority of these works now complete we have seen an improvement in journey times along the corridor.  

Emergency strategy for A335 Thomas Lewis Way  

If the decision is made to proceed with these proposals, it will be important to maintain an alternative route for people who chose to drive, should A335 Thomas Lewis Way become inaccessible.    

We have developed an emergency strategy to ensure the flow of traffic is not interrupted, which includes the potential to temporarily suspend the bus gate for local journeys.  

The results and feedback from Phase 1 of the consultation, along with council assessments and additional investigations to address the concerns raised, can be viewed here Additional Information and Further Assessments.  

Background information related to each of the proposed Portswood Project schemes can be found on these pages, including the aims of each, why they are being proposed and the impact they would have.

Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee referral 

Following Phase 1 of the consultation, the Portswood Project proposals were referred to Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee (OSMC) on 02 February 2023. You can find a report and the recommendations here. In summary, the OSMC asked for a new consultation to be carried out with new information, such as additional traffic modelling, an emergency mitigation plan and bus journey time data.  We are committed to meeting the recommendation of the OSMC in the next phase of the consultation and all the additional information requested, and more, can be found on these pages.  

Once Phase 2 of the consultation is complete, the results of the survey (along with feedback collected at the public meetings) will be compiled into a report for the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport for a final decision as to whether to proceed with the proposals. This consultation report will be made publicly available on this page once it is complete.  

Autumn to Winter 2020

Through October and early November 2020, we conducted an initial perceptions survey to understand how people travel through the local area and what transport infrastructure improvements people would like to see.

You can view the perception survey results here 

Following this in early December 2020 and, on 28 January  2021, we presented our findings and started to discuss some of the solutions we could bring forward. A recording of this presentation is available on the council’s YouTube channel, and the presentation can be viewed here.

If you have any further questions, check out the FAQ link on the right of the page. If the answer isn't there you can email us at and we'll respond to your specific question.