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19 October 2013, 08:09 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
Work begins this weekend (19th October) to improve the journey into Southampton for cyclists.
The Eastern Cycle Route scheme aims to improve the route from the east of the city to the city centre and Southampton Central Railway Station and make it safer.
This first phase of the work will involve the transformation of the roundabout junction at Saltmarsh Road (between Itchen Bridge and Central Bridge) where there have been seven serious accidents involving cyclists over the past three years. The roundabout will be converted into a traffic light controlled junction with additional cycling and pedestrian facilities which extend to Central Bridge and Terminus Terrace.
A further project to complete essential maintenance works to waterproof and preserve Central Bridge is expected to start in early 2014, which will bring the total value of transport scheme investment in the area to £2.5 million - a cost being covered in part by a grant secured by the council from the Department for Transport.
The improvement works are expected to take around six months to complete and are set to cause disruption to traffic but drivers are being told that a 'comprehensive traffic management plan' has been put in place to minimise delays.
Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport said: "These projects form part of our continued investment to develop high quality access routes to and within Southampton, and improve existing infrastructure, in line with our City Centre Master Plan.
"Undertaking both schemes at the same time, will minimise any disruptions to residents, as well as ensure that both the essential maintenance and new project are completed as quickly as possible. The incorporation of the new visible and direct cycle route from the east of the city, to the city centre and Southampton Central Railway Station will not only help us to meet our ambition to make Southampton more cycle-friendly and sustainable, but will also improve opportunities for cyclists to cross the city safely."