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Hill Lane FAQs

Why Hill Lane?

  • Hill Lane is identified as part of SCN4 (City Centre to Rownhams & North Baddesley)  
  • It is a key route linking Southampton City Centre, Central Station, Shirley, General Hospital, Common, Outdoor Sports Centre, Residential and Employment centres
  • Complements existing cycle lanes on Hill Lane and provides alternative for cycling in the Common
  • Narrow footpaths along the route that cannot support social distancing
  • Post Covid more people are using the Common and maintaining safe and social distance is important.

What is happening?

The trial scheme is a combination of mandatory and advisory cycle lanes on Hill Lane that connect from the existing cycle lanes south of Raymond Road to Burgess Road.

The sections are:

  • Burgess Road to Bellemoor Road – combination of mandatory and advisory cycle lanes;
  • A ‘Cycle Street’ approach between Wilton Road and Bellemoor Road; and
  • Mandatory and advisory cycle lanes from Wilton Road to Archers Road and then Milton Road

To enable the cycle lane to be installed the on-street parking will be restricted with double yellow lines on the section between Raymond Road and Wilton Road, and between Bellemoor Road and Burgess Road.

Why are things changing?

The whole temporary trial scheme for Hill Lane is implemented at the same time to create a continuous link for people who are cycling and walking along this corridor. The cycle lane will also assist pedestrians with social distancing, particularly on the eastern side of the Hill Lane where some footways are narrow.  A lot of people can access the Common easily on foot and by bike and this route will help them to do so safely. This will complement the scheme on Bassett Avenue, which has seen over 400 cycles a day, enabling people to cycle to work, school and for leisure.

  • Cycling on Hill Lane – in ‘normal’ times the levels of use on Hill Lane was 247 people cycling with 7,700 cars (most recent pre-Covid survey of February 2019). For surveys going forward, we will take the seasonality of this survey into consideration. There have been eight cycle injuries on Hill Lane in last three years.

  • Cycling on the Common – The paths on the Common are heavily used by people walking, cycling and with their dogs.

    The number of people cycling using the path heading north from the Bellemoor Entrance of the Common has increased significantly this year even when considering the seasonal difference of the surveys. In the period from 4pm to 6pm it rose from around 30 cyclists in January 2019 to over 180 cyclists in June 2020. This path was also used by over 400 pedestrians and runners during this time. As people start to return to work, more schools come back and the University later in the year this will get busier.

    A survey for the Common Forum indicated that there are conflict issues between people walking, cycling and with their dogs. Over 50% of respondents wanted to see more segregated cycle routes and moving people cycling from paths in the Common. The priorities within the Common Action Plan are to ‘Improve facilities for green travel and reduce conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists and dog walkers’ and ‘Improve the safety of users of the Common especially after dark through increasing both the natural light and lighting on the main path.
  • Events - We will continually monitor the situation, and if there are any sizeable events on the Common confirmed we can, if necessary, temporarily allow parking on Hill Lane for the duration of the event.  It is unlikely that large events that use the Common such as Parkrun will take place until they are safe to do so based on government guidelines.

  • Schools - We will also engage with the schools in the vicinity, particularly Taunton’s College and King Edward School to fully understand their current and continuous plans for reopening. Whilst it is important to facilitate cycling in this area to encourage particularly students to access the schools and colleges by bike when they reopen but also to create links to the areas as set out in the context above, maintaining access to the Common for all is a key consideration.

  • Parking - Dedicated parking for visitors to the Common and the Old Cemetery is provided along Cemetery Road, where there are 127 spaces in total – which is free parking up to 4 hrs max stay. Which is where the council will be signposting visitors for events and trips to the common.

    However, we are fully aware that Hill Lane has always been used for Common parking. We undertook surveys to understand the number of cars parked along Hill Lane as well as the number of cars parked in the immediate side roads of the Common – these were done at regular intervals on a Wednesday and Saturday.

    As part of the monitoring and reviewing of the scheme we will regularly monitoring the parking along Hill Lane and impact on residential areas using this baseline data.

Section

Maximum observed parking level

Hill Lane (Bellemoor - Burgess)

74%

Hill Lane (Bellemoor - Wilton)

85%

Hill Lane (Wilton - Raymond)

70%

Side roads (Warwick - Bellemoor)

26-47%

Side roads (Bellemoor - Wilton)

13-60%

Side roads (Wilton - Raymond)

20%

 

The cycle route, along with The Avenue, will also encourage more people to cycle to the Common reducing the demand for car trips.

  • Local Shops - The existing parking for the shops at the top of Hill Lane will be maintained on Burgess Road and Winchester Road. Sainsbury’s has its own off-road parking. We will continue to review parking availability for these businesses especially as more shops start to reopen. The improved cycle and walking links help to support local businesses as it makes it safer and easier for local people to walk and cycle there.

  • Accessibility - In order to maintain and improve convenient access to the Common for all users, including those who are less mobile, we will be implementing three additional disabled bays in each of Bellemoor Road, Wilton Road and Raymond Road immediately off Hill Lane.  These are close to existing safe crossing points on Hill Lane and access points to the Common. There are currently no disabled parking spaces available specifically for use of the Common on either Hill Lane or Cemetery Road.

When is it happening?

The cycle lane and parking restrictions have started from 22nd June.  This is a temporary scheme and we will be reviewing the impacts on a variety of users over the coming weeks and months. Monitoring will be undertaken with weekday and weekend data being collected. Should it be necessary, adjustments can be made to the scheme at any time.

It has been agreed with local councillors that a review will be undertaken after 1 month, at which point a decision will be made over the continuance of the scheme. A further review will be held after three months if necessary.

How can I comment?

The Hill Lane scheme is a trial scheme supported by the implementation of restrictions under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO).

ETROs allow schemes to be introduced on a temporary basis in order to assess their impact and effectiveness before a decision is taken on whether or not they are made permanent. As such any person may comment on or object to the ETRO being made permanent within six months of it coming into force (12 June 2020), or within six months of any subsequent variation or modification to this Order coming into force, whichever may be later.

All responses must be in writing, stating the grounds on which it is made, quoting the Order title and sent to the Highways Legal Team at Southampton City Council, Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY or via email to Traffic.Orders.Legal@southampton.gov.uk.

This approach has enabled the Council to move quickly to support active travel and implement schemes that facilitate safe active travel quickly.