Work starts in St Denys to create a greener, safer and healthier environment for walking and cycling

Over the past year, Southampton City Council’s Green City and Infrastructure team has collaborated with the residents of St Denys to develop a plan for addressing their concerns regarding traffic levels, safety and air quality in the area. This has resulted in proposals for a range of traffic calming and enhancement measures to tackle residents’ concerns and create an Active Travel Zone in St Denys. An Active Travel Zone is where small changes are made to the streets and roads to improve walking and cycling for short journeys. Work will start in November to turn the plans into reality.

The St Denys Active Travel Zone project started with a survey of residents, visitors and local businesses at the end of 2019. Over 1000 contributions were received and some clear themes emerged from it relating to concerns about pedestrian and cycling safety, air quality and traffic, particularly on specific roads that are regularly used as rat-runs by through traffic.

Residents of St Denys, and a Year 5 class at St Denys Primary School, were then invited to attend a series of co-design workshops, where they worked in groups with a facilitator to identify potential solutions. Nearly 50 residents and 30 children attended, and the most popular and feasible solutions were presented to the public in September for comment and questions. Some modifications have since been made and the scheme will be implemented between November 2020 and late 2021, with the aim of creating a greener, safer and healthier St Denys for everyone.

There are a range of measures that will make up the Active Travel Zone in St Denys. The first will be trial modal filters, on North Road, between Stanley Road and Priory Road and on Kent Road on either side of the bridge. These will be set up in November, followed in January by a trial modal filter at the junction of Priory Road North and St Denys Road. A modal filter is a feature designed to prevent through traffic while maintaining full access to properties by walking or cycling, and for local traffic via alternative routes. During the 6-month consultation period for the trial modal filters, monitoring will take place to establish the impact on St Denys of each one.

Further permanent measures will aim to make the busy junction of St Denys Road and Priory Road safer for walkers and cyclists as well as St Denys Road itself and improve the area outside St Denys Primary School to make it safer at pick up and drop off times.  Each of the new features will be enhanced with landscaped vegetation when they are installed as permanent features.

The permanent measures in St Denys will each have a formal consultation and residents local to them will be informed by letter regarding when the detailed designs are ready and how they can have their say on them. Full details of the St Denys ATZ scheme can be found on our website www.transport.southampton.gov.uk/stdenys

Councillor Leggett, Cabinet Member for Green City and Place, said: “I welcome the changes to the roads in St Denys that will help the residents achieve their vision of a healthier and safer neighbourhood for themselves, their neighbours and families. Active Travel Zones have transformed other neighbourhoods around the country, such as Waltham Forest in London, and I look forward to the same positive results in St Denys.”

St Denys resident, Clare Diaper said: “It is so exciting to be trialling some temporary changes to road layouts here in St Denys. I'm really looking forward to less traffic and more music and connection with neighbours that comes with a quieter street.”

The St Denys ATZ project is funded by the Department of Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund. In March 2020, Southampton City Council, in partnerships with Hampshire County Council, was awarded £57M to deliver an ambitious package of transport improvements.