Starting in early January 2023, Southampton City Council and their highways partners Balfour Beatty Living Places will begin work on a package of transport and public realm improvements for Carlton Place and Bedford Place. The measures are intended to enhance the area for everyone, elevating its character as a speciality shopping and hospitality destination. The works will begin during the week of January 9 and aim to be completed by April 14, 2023.
On Carlton Place there will be defined areas for hospitality providers to offer outdoor tables and seating, enhanced with an open, piazza-style area in the centre of the junction of Carlton Place and Lower Bannister Street. The open space will be suitable for pop up events and markets, with a level surface throughout to make the area more accessible for everyone, upgraded CCTV and lighting to improve night-time visibility.
Bedford Place will have a widened, curved pavement area at its junction with Carlton Place. This will provide an attractive, accessible public area, with the addition of trellis structures for climbing plants, and seating. The temporary hospitality area on Bedford Place, outside Beards and Boards, will be replaced with a permanent buildout, and designated areas for loading and parking for people with disabilities will be provided.
Areas of the carriageway along Bedford Place will be narrowed to slow vehicles and improve safety along the road. This will complement the recently introduced 20mph speed limit now in place across the Polygon area.
Caroline French, Managing Director of W. J. French & Son comments:
“The curved buildout onto Bedford Place will hopefully make a big difference in reducing the speed of cars and increase safety for pedestrians. This, and the improvements to Carlton Place pedestrianised area, will make it a destination for people to enjoy the unique independent shops, bars and restaurants located here.”
Stephen Manion, Executive Director GO! Southampton comments:
“GO! Southampton are delighted the improvements to Carlton Place and Bedford Place are due to start in the New Year, creating an attractive and safer environment for local residents and visitors to enjoy the area’s shops, restaurants and clubs. We are always keen to support projects which improve the public realm, attracting more people and encouraging them to return with their friends and family. GO! has worked closely with the city council, supporting a design that is people friendly and meets the needs of local businesses. There will be some disruption during works, of which the council are keeping us informed, but the results will be worth it as we get busier during the approach to Easter.”
Councillor Keogh, Cabinet Member for Transport and District Regeneration comments:
“Our transport and public realm officers have been working closely with Bedford Place and Carlton Place residents and businesses to develop plans for improving the area. In the recent public consultation on the proposed designs, over 89% of respondents agreed they will make the area feel safer, benefit the local environment and make it more accessible for disabled people and people with mobility issues. I am sure that local businesses, residents and visitors to this unique area will benefit enormously from the investment.”
More information about the Carlton Place and Bedford Place scheme can be found on our website at https://transport.southampton.gov.uk/bedfordplace along with a summary of the consultation results and a set of FAQs designed to provide more information for residents and local businesses about disruption during the works.