Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council have come together to submit a joint bid for a significant share of the government’s £1.22bn Transforming Cities Fund.
Plans to renovate the city’s transport networks include the building of a brand new Park and Rides near Bitterne, and an expansion of bus priority lanes which have improved public transport in Southampton since earlier this year.
The Council, acknowledging that their plans were in their early stages, said that is was working to ‘establish a network of park and ride sites‘ throughout Southampton. Further ideas for transport renovation include enhanced live technology to keep the public informed on traffic, incidents, parking, and journey times.
Plans also being discussed include rapid bus links between the city centre and Romsey, Hythe, Winchester, Fair Oak, St Denys, Thornhill, Hedge End and Bursledon, according to the Daily Echo. This comes just one year after local councils in Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, the New Forest, and Winchester announced significant cuts to bus services, with Conservative Councillor for Bishops Waltham Rob Humby admitting that ‘some of the services would run less frequently‘.
Discussing the plans for renovation, Labour Councillor for the Bevois Ward of Southampton Jacqui Rayment said, ‘[w]e are working with Hampshire County Council to put together a strong case for investment in Southampton’s transport system through Transforming Cities. This will help us to support the growth and success of the city in a sustainable way in line with the goals of our Green City Charter‘.
The joint bid of £145 million to help improve Southampton’s transport networks will be lodged to the government next month, with a final decision expected by Spring 2020.