Future Southampton

Woolston district centre improvements

    • Woolston Portsmouth Rd junction

    Woolston Portsmouth Rd junction - Photo Credit: BBLP

    • Woolston High Street - Victoria Road

    Woolston High Street - Victoria Road - Photo Credit: BBLP

    • Woolston high street

    Woolston high street - Photo Credit: BBLP

Works were completed by the start of 2016

As part of the development of Centenary Quay, Southampton City Council successfully secured over a million pounds of regeneration and developer funding to invest back into the Woolston area. The Woolston District Improvements Scheme has improved pedestrian access and safety as well as providing better traffic flow and traffic calming. These improvements were decided following consultation with residents and businesses and were designed to accommodate an expected increase in visitors to this busy district centre.
The work started Summer 2015 and took 30 weeks to complete, two less than was publicised. The work was carried out in several distinct phases designed to minimise disruption and to enable traffic to continue to access the area during the work (see map).
As part of the scheme there was a period of overnight work to resurface the high street part of Victoria Road; including the junctions at either end. Work was coordinated with Southern Water whose work at the Southern end of Victoria Road was complete in that summer.
With significant work involving several of the major junctions and routes around the district centre there was some unavoidable disruption. We'd like to thank all the traders and residents for bearing with us as we worked  as quickly as possible while ensuring safety for workers and those visiting the area.
    • woolston scheme map 800x600

    woolston scheme map 800x600 - Photo Credit: BBLP

Frequently Asked Questions

Why were the improvements to Woolston District Centre carried out in 2015?

The timing was primarily to avoid conflict with other major highways work that took place earlier in 2015 and to comply with time limits on spending the section 106 funding from Centenary Quay.

When did the work take place and how long did it take? 

Work is was started from 11 May 2015 and was planned to take around 32 weeks. The duration of the work was subject to weather conditions but in the end was completed in 30 weeks.

Why did the work take so long?

This was a major scheme with over £1m of investment to replace roads, pavements, redesign important junctions and provide traffic calming. In order to maintain access for businesses and residents and to minimize disruption the work was broken down into several phases. See map numbering and phase dates below:
Phase 1:  11 May - end May 2015
Phase 2:  22 May - early June 2015
Phase 3:  June - September 2015
Phase 4:  August - early Autumn 2015
Phase 5:  Autumn / Winter 2015
Phase 6:  Winter 2015
The scheme was planned to take up to 32 weeks, the exact length of the work was subject to weather conditions.

Why is there a permanent one way system for the Woolston high street?

When the high street was originally repaved in 2011 a temporary one way system was put in place along the high street part of Victoria Road and along Keswick Road/Woodley Road.  This improved traffic flow through the Woolston centre and so was considered for this new scheme to cater for the possible increase in visitors to the area from the Centenary Quay development. The proposal was welcomed during the consultation so has been implemented as part of these improvements. It particularly resolves conflict along Victoria Road between wider vehicles that caused congestion at peak times. The one way system contributes to the improved safety for pedestrians and the reduced traffic using the road makes the high street a more pleasant environment for shoppers and allows for wider paved areas, new street furniture and tree planting. 

Has the bus route changed?

The bus route is unaffected. The bus travels south along Victoria Road and returns north via Keswick Road and Woodley Road which is how the new one way system is set up.  There is a slight change to the location of the bus stop on Victoria Road to bring it within the one way section before the planned new raised junction with Keswick Road. The bus stop on Keswick Road has also moved slightly to accommodate the new zebra crossing.

When did the 20mph scheme take affect and where does it cover?

The new 20mph speed limit in the Woolston District Centre took effect from 12 June 2015 and is clearly signed with road markings and gateway signs to show you are entering the zone. Additional traffic calming measured are being installed in some areas to help enforce this new restriction. The map below shows the area covered by the 20mph scheme.

    • woolston 20mph zone map 800x600

    woolston 20mph zone map 800x600 - Photo Credit: BBLP

Who funded this work?

Southampton City Council secured developer funding from Centenary Quay that was used to regenerate the Woolston District Centre, following extensive consultation with local residents and businesses about what improvements they would most like to see.

Why wasn't the work carried out 24 hours a day seven days a week to speed up work?

We were working 7.30am to 5pm weekdays. The scheme is close to residential areas which we needed to be sensitive of. We did carry out some overnight and weekend work for critical phases which might have create significant disruption at other times. There are significant costs attached to working 24/7 and the funding for the schemes was not sufficient to accommodate those additional costs.

Centenary Quay development in Woolston

    • Woolston District Centre Improvement illustration jpg

    Woolston District Centre Improvement illustration jpg

Centenary Quay is an exciting new mixed-use development being built on the old Vosper Thornycroft site in Woolston. The development presents an opportunity for Woolston district centre and the wider area to flourish. The development is likely to consist of:

1,653 dwellings (including 413 affordable homes) which are anticipated to house 3,500 residents
Retail facilities
Restaurants and cafés
A yacht manufacturer
Businesses' industrial storage and distribution uses
A 100-bedroom hotel
Four live / work units
Two energy centres
A youth facility
A pre-school facility
The increase in retail and industrial facilities will prompt an influx of commuters and visitors to the Woolston district, having a positive impact on the local economy.
Equally, the increased use of the area will bring its own challenges which we will need to deal with; particularly the impact on local transport facilities.  For this reason a proportion of Section 106 funding was allocated to Southampton City Council during the early planning stages of the project, for strategic interventions that deal with the need for an efficient and robust transport network in the area. These planned interventions included:
Provision of junction improvements to Portsmouth Road and Victoria Road
Provision of Obelisk Road traffic calming measures
Provision of a puffin crossing at the Itchen Bridge
Woodley Road one way and traffic calming measures
Woolston district centre traffic calming and public realm improvement scheme
Manor Road / Portsmouth Road roundabout improvements
Public slipway improvements
Provision of Peartree Avenue traffic calming measures
Itchen Bridge toll booth upgrades
Public engagement
Members of the Woolston community were involved in a period of public engagement during September and October 2012 to discuss the project and the transport improvements in detail.  With just under 200 people involved, the following community groups were consulted:
An over 60s’ club dance session
A teenage reading group in Woolston Library
A classroom discussion and walkabout with St Patrick’s Primary School pupils
The Woolston Traders and Community Associations
The people of Woolston spoke proudly of their community and its rich history.  They were enthused by the project and the opportunity to make a positive difference to the area – not only in terms of the improved transport provision, but also the enhancements to the business and residential offering in Woolston.
When asked what improvements they would like to see, residents and businesses in Woolston expressed a strong desire for a one-way system on Victoria Road / Woodley Road.  Following on in order of popularity were:
The provision of more play spaces for young and disabled children
The introduction of a crossing point at the Obelisk Road / Victoria Road junction to the Co-Operative supermarket
More green areas – trees, planters and hanging baskets
Seating areas – particularly on Victoria Road
Some focus points such as public art reflecting the area’s rich history.
Some of the project team's original plans for transport interventions were not seen as being a priority for locals (for example, the instalment of a puffin crossing on the Itchen Bridge). Instead, many were keen to see more play space established in the area.