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Bassett Avenue/The Avenue FAQs

Why Bassett Avenue/The Avenue?

  • Bassett Avenue and The Avenue are identified as part of SCN5 (City Centre to Chilworth & Chandler’s Ford) in the Southampton Cycle Network (SCN)

  • It is a key route linking Southampton City Centre, the Common, University of Southampton, Chilworth Science Park, Hampshire Corporate Park, and Residential and Employment centres

  • It complements other temporary cycle lanes on Hill Lane and Portswood Road, and provides an alternative for cycling through the Common

  • Temporary cycle lanes along Bassett Avenue and The Avenue also join up existing sections of cycle route along SCN5 between the city centre and Inner Avenue to the south and Chilworth to Chandlers Ford via Hut Hill in Hampshire to the north

  • There are narrow footpaths along the route that cannot support social distancing, particularly around bus stops

  • Bus service capacity reduced by up to 25-40% due to social distancing

  • Post Covid-19 more people are using the Common and maintaining safe and social distance is important

What happened?

The scheme was installed as a temporary 1.5m wide mandatory cycle lane in each direction from south of Chilworth Roundabout to Winn Road.

The sections are:

  • The Avenue – temporary mandatory cycle lanes achieved by reallocation of road space from existing wide road; and

  • Bassett Avenue – temporary mandatory cycle lanes achieved by removing one traffic lane in each direction that is separated by a white line

The speed limit on both Bassett Avenue and The Avenue was reduced from 40mph to 30mph.

To enable the cycle lane to be installed and to maintain capacity of The Avenue, the right turn from The Avenue northbound into Burgess Road has been banned. Traffic requiring this manoeuvre will need to U-turn at the Winchester Road roundabout. Other temporary barriers on Burgess Road and Winchester Road have been removed to manage traffic capacity on these approaches.

To enhance the safety of people cycling, ‘wands’ have been installed along the cycle lane on The Avenue. These help to highlight the cycle lane and ensure that people using it are kept separate from passing traffic.

Why are things changing?

The trial scheme for Bassett Avenue-The Avenue was implemented in May to create a continuous link for people who are cycling and walking along this corridor. This created a continuous cycle route for people who want to cycle to work or for leisure between Southampton and Chandler’s Ford and Eastleigh. It connected the newly completed sections of cycle route on SCN5 along Inner Avenue to the south and Hut Hill north of Chilworth, implemented as part of the joint Southampton & Hampshire Transforming Cities programme (TCF). TCF is a bold and ambitious programme that will see changes to The Avenue and Bassett Avenue to help cycles, buses and people walking. There will be an opportunity to consult more widely on this as plans continue to be developed.

The Bassett Avenue scheme complemented the other pop-up measures on Hill Lane and Portswood Road, enabling people to cycle with ease to work, school and for leisure.

It has been a positive trial and, during the period the scheme has been in operation, we have closely monitored the changes and how they have performed by gathering lots of data and people’s feedback. We have looked at traffic flows, cycle usage, vehicle and bus journey times and speeds. During the Summer there has been a change in traffic behaviour and, as Covid-19 restrictions have been eased, traffic has increased and some journey times along the corridor have increased to above pre-Covid-19 levels – particularly from Winchester Road.

Traffic Flows Peak Hours (4pm) Journey Times Cycles Speeds

Total flows – 32,673

Up 380 from last week

Now at 80% of 2019 traffic levels

Northbound – 1,088

Southbound – 1,041

Northbound in PM have increased and are 5% above the baseline.

In other peaks and directions journey times remain 25-50% below 2019 baseline

The Avenue – 204 – up 48% on 2019 and 6% on July

Bassett Ave at Bassett Crescent – 209 – down 15% on 2019 but up 35% on July

Bassett Ave at Glen Eyre Rd – 347 - down 29% on 2019 but up 26% on July

Northbound – 28.6

Southbound – 23.0

Below 2019 when speed limit was 40mph

2020 data for w/c 17 August. 2019 data June, August or November.

 

Early on we received feedback on the queues approaching the roundabout on Winchester Road. Initially this was reduced to one lane for safety. The cones were removed and the two-lane approach re-instated with left hand lane for Bassett Avenue north and right hand for Bassett Avenue south. This helped to reduce the delays on this approach.

We have been liaising with schools and the University to fully understand their current and continuous plans for reopening. It is important to facilitate cycling in this area to encourage students and staff to access the schools and colleges by bike or foot when they reopen. We have been liaising with the bus operators about the impacts on their services as more people return to travelling by bus. Where the scheme is impacting on bus journey times, we will make adjustments accordingly.

It is unlikely that large events in the Common, such as Parkrun, or elsewhere in the City will take place in the foreseeable future. We will continually monitor the situation and change / amend the scheme should this be required to manage large events in the area as and when these are confirmed.

What is happening?

The temporary cycle lane was implemented on 29 May. The changes in travel behaviours, along with the upcoming return of schools from September, mean that this is the right time to adjust the scheme.

Therefore, from 2 September we will be making the following changes to the scheme:

  1. The cycle lanes are removed on Bassett Avenue between Winchester Road Roundabout to Chilworth Roundabout in both directions; 

  2. Section from Winchester Road to Winn Road is retained in advance of TCF with further consultation;

  3. A Right turn ban exemption for northbound buses at The Avenue/Burgess Road implemented; and

  4. 30mph speed limit is retained for the full length.

To remove the cycle lanes, there will be overnight works on Bassett Avenue on 2 & 3 September. This scheme is still a trial scheme and we will be continually reviewing it over the coming months.

What about disruption during the construction?

Work on The Avenue and Bassett Avenue will be carried out overnight to reduce the impact to the road network. A road closure between Winchester Road and Chilworth Roundabout will be in place to ensure the work can be delivered safely.

What monitoring will you put in place to ensure that social distancing is respected and that different travel modes are counted?

The council has automatic traffic counters in various locations across the city. In addition, the council has access to journey time data collected across the priority corridors into and around the city. These sources have demonstrated a significant decrease in vehicular movements and increase in cycling over the last two months.

The measures we have implemented are to support social distancing and active travel, and we will continue to closely monitor usage of the different modes of travel and how social distancing is being observed.

Will road users be able to pull in and give way for emergency vehicles?

Yes emergency services have been advised of the changes and also as the cycle lanes are only painted lines, vehicles can move out of the way of emergency service vehicles if necessary.

I hope that any measures you do implement will make better use of the Common. It would be much more pleasant to walk and cycle along the Common, rather than alongside these busy roads, so perhaps you could ensure better provision parallel to The Avenue.

In February this year, the council undertook an extensive consultation exercise on proposals to improve leisure cycling routes on Southampton Common as part of improvements to Lover’s Walk. The consultation achieved 283 customer responses with the majority agreeing with the council's commitment to its green charter to encourage sustainable travel and improve air quality in the city. The council is now progressing this scheme of work and is currently working through the legal process via a planning application. It is considered though that the two schemes will complement each other.

Social distancing is very difficult on Burgess Road (if you walk from Hill Lane to The Avenue, the pavement is non-existent on one side and is very narrow on the other). What do you propose to do there?

Unfortunately we are unable to provide a path on this section of Burgess Road due to the issue of land ownership and the fact that it is Common land rather than highway land.

If these measures are to become more permanent, could you consult on these measures?

We are using temporary or experimental traffic regulation orders to implement measures swiftly. These types of orders allow councils to install highway changes and monitor their impact before making decisions on whether to make them permanent. As opposed to direct implementation of permanent changes which due to the legal consultation process can take months to actually bring the change about.

We will be closely monitoring the impact of the changes and collecting customer feedback and these will form part of any future discussions on whether the changes are removed or made permanent.

How can I comment?

The Bassett Avenue-The Avenue scheme is a trial scheme. Parts are being implemented under a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) as well under the Council’s powers to manage the public highway. This approach has enabled the Council to move quickly in line with Government guidance to install the scheme, monitor, evaluate and take feedback from residents, businesses and users. There is constant monitoring of the impact of the scheme and further adjustments can be made.

After this initial trial period we can then make a decision on whether to make the trial scheme permanent, make alterations to the scheme or remove the scheme completely. If a scheme is made permanent, there will be a full consultation process to capture a variety of views. This will inform any final decision on the scheme.

This process enables us to support active travel and implement schemes that facilitate safe and socially distanced active travel quickly as instructed by the Government.

We will regularly review the scheme, and the scheme or parts of it can be amended at any time during the six months. The three-month review has meant that the section between Winchester Road and Chilworth Roundabout will be removed.

If you would like to comment on the scheme, please email – roadworks@southampton.gov.uk.

Latest traffic data