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Bedford Place/Carlton Place - Temporary Pedestrianisation

Bedford Place and Carlton Place

Latest news

16 June 2021

We have now analysed the results of our recent survey of businesses on Bedford Place and found that 57% of respondents are in favour of seeing the road reopened. 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

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. Planters will be moved to accommodate the return of on street parking along Bedford Place, which includes free parking for ten minutes. 

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.

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.