Southampton City Council's £25m cycling strategy moves into high gear

Second Avenue Cycle Station

Southampton City Council launched an ambitious ten year strategy in 2017 to transform the cycling experience in the city. Following that, the people of Southampton shared feedback that you wanted more cycle ways and that safer roads, less traffic and better awareness would help you to cycle more.

Two years later, the council has invested £2.4m in completed projects and a further £5.4m is committed to projects that will be delivered by summer 2019. The rate of delivery has been accelerated following successful bids for national finance sources from the Clean Air Zone Early Measures and National Productivity Investment Funds.

Southampton City Council has also been working to improve the three main cycle free ways into the city from the West, East and North. New segregated cycle way, improved existing cycle way, traffic calming and other safety measures are being introduced all across Southampton.

Many short journeys across the city are still made by car, with just under half (48%) of all journeys to work less than 3 miles. Over 80,000 people commute in to and out of Southampton for work, mainly to Totton, Chandlers Ford, Hedge End and Eastleigh - these are all within a cycleable distance.

Through the My Journey programme, we have have worked extensively to encourage and inspire people to cycle, providing a range of campaigns and initiatives:

  • We've worked with 106 employers, from large to small, to help set up staff travel plans and support people to change their commute
  • We've worked with 53 schools, reaching approximately 23,000 pupils so far. Four schools have achieved Gold Modeshift awards, the highest standard in supporting active travel on the school run
  • We've helped set up 14 new community cycle hubs, run 152 led rides, 58 Bike Doctor events and 16 Ditch the Stabilisers sessions that have helped 100 new young cyclists get riding
  • We've teamed up with Love to Ride, a web and app based platform that gets more people cycling through a series of rewards based cycling challenges across the year. The partnership commenced in September last year and since then a total of 799 people in and around Southampton have recorded a ride on the app, including 178 new riders. This translates as 424,340 miles that have been cycled by Southampton participants, saving 90,742 lbs CO2. To sign up and find out more, visit

Increasing the number of people choosing to cycle can play a key role not just in reducing road congestion but in improving air quality and tackling inactivity and obesity. It is estimated that cycling provides over £5.5m of health economic benefits each year in Southampton.

More detail on cycling improvements in Southampton

On the Western Cycleway improvements have included introducing and extending segregated cycle way parallel to Millbrook Road on First and Second Avenue and further work stretching along Millbrook Road East to the central train station will complete by this summer.

On the Northern Cycleway the existing shared-use path between Banister Road and Northlands Road has been upgraded. Work will start on a new segregated cycle way on Inner Avenue this February for completion by the summer.

On the Eastern Cycleway work is underway on traffic calming and other improvements in Sholing and Bitterne. Work is set to begin this April on a new segregated cycle way along the A3024 Bursledon Road as part of a major project to improve journey times on the Eastern Corridor into the city. This is just the tip of the iceberg for the council's investment in cycling infrastructure. Many more improvement projects have been completed, are active now or in the pipeline. In September 2018 Southampton City Council announced that Southampton had made a shortlist of ten cities that are in the running to receive a share of the £840m Transforming Cities Fund from the Department for Transport.

We are delighted to see the fantastic achievements already made and look forward to an exciting period of transformation, as we continue to support people in and around Southampton to discover the benefits of cycling in the city.