Southampton City Council has been collaborating with local businesses and residents in the Bedford Place and Carlton Place area to formulate a package of transport and public realm improvements that will improve the area for everyone and enhance its unique character as a boutique leisure and shopping destination. The planned measures aim to create a safer, more pleasant environment for everyone living, working, and spending time in the area.
The designs were shared with members of the Bedford Place Co-Design Working Group* on Wednesday 21 September and are now available for consultation with the wider community.
Caroline French, Managing Director of W.J. French & Son comments:
“The plans are very exciting and will transform the area into a real ‘destination.’ Bedford Place is a unique area, it combines modern with period buildings, there’s no other place in Southampton quite like it. The Carlton Place scheme will create the opportunity to to hold regular community events and markets. All of the measures will improve our environment both aesthetically with lighting, improved street layout and street furniture and will help create a safer area.”
Stephen Manion, Executive Director GO! Southampton comments:
“GO! Southampton aims to improve the city centre for businesses and visitors, and we are very pleased to be involved in the designs for Bedford Place and Carlton Place. The new improvements will provide safe and relaxing outdoor spaces with attractive paved plaza, outdoor seating and enhanced lighting for more people to enjoy the wide choice of independent bars, restaurants, shops and clubs during the daytime and evenings.”
A key feature is the design for Carlton Place, now a permanently pedestrianised area. The plans include defined areas for hospitality providers to use for outdoor tables and seating and will be enhanced with an open space in the centre of the junction of Carlton Place and Lower Bannister Street. The open space will be suitable for pop up events or markets, with a level surface throughout to make the area more accessible for everyone, along with upgraded CCTV and lighting to improve night-time visibility.
The proposed measures on Bedford Place itself aim to reduce traffic speeds and increase safety. To do this the design incorporates a curved ‘buildout’ on Bedford Place, at its junction with Carlton Place. The buildout, or widened pavement area, will have a level surface and provide an accessible public area with greening and seating. Traffic will be slowed as the buildout will narrow the carriageway and provide an informal ‘give way’. It will also reinforce the wider 20mph speed limit planned for the Polygon area.
The temporary hospitality area on Bedford Place will be replaced with a permanent buildout with further greening. Designated areas for loading and parking for people with disabilities will be provided along Bedford Place.
Local residents and businesses will receive a letter to invite them to feedback on the designs via the public consultation questionnaire, which will be available until Sunday 23 October.
Councillor Eamonn Keogh, Cabinet Member for Transport and Regeneration, comments:
“Bedford Place and Carlton Place is a historical and vibrant area for the city, providing an excellent range of cafes and restaurants, and these plans will ensure that visitors and residents can move around the area safely. All the improvements have been created in partnership with local businesses and residents and I look forward to hearing their feedback on these exciting plans.”
If you are a resident or business in the Bedford Place area, have your say at:
*The Bedford Place Co-design Working Group includes both residents and local businesses as well as other key stakeholders. They have been working with Southampton City Council since October 2021 to develop a scheme for Bedford Place, Carlton Place and Winchester Street which will improve the area and enhance its character as one of Southampton’s boutique leisure and shopping destinations.