When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Find by date
Other ways to search
Also look for
Rail link is just the ticket for St Mary's
A NEW rail link to the £32m Saints' stadium could be on track after city transport chiefs revealed they hope to be in line for government cash.
The news comes as residents by the St Mary's ground expressed fears about the level of crowd congestion on match days.
Members of the South East England Regional Assembly will tonight discuss setting up a new transport authority in Hampshire, which can bid for government money to improve transport links.
Among the projects to benefit would be a railway halt that would run by the Saints' complex.
Councillor Richard Williams, Southampton member for the assembly, said they would tonight be discussing putting a motion forward at the group's meeting next month to set up a Passenger Transport Executive.
"This is the mechanism by which we can influence new developments and one of the things we would be looking for is stadium transport infrastructure," he said.
"It's not something that will happen overnight, certainly not in the next three seasons. It will be a three-to-five-year programme.
"The rail link is clearly something that will be a benefit for everybody, because transportation has an impact on the whole city."
He said the group would help create improved transport links in other areas of Hampshire, including integrated ticketing on public transport.
Residents neighbouring Saints' ground, as well as Southampton Itchen MP John Denham, have echoed calls for a rail link, highlighted six months ago in the Daily Echo.
Dawn Humphries, secretary of the Northam Tenants' and Residents' Association, said: "Residents find it horrendous trying to find a space to park on match days, especially in the evening.
"There is an issue about emergency services being able to get through because all the traffic is being brought to a halt."
Chief Supt Graham Wyeth, police match day commander, said: "Any additional measures which supports the dispersal of supporters as soon as possible on match days would be appreciated."
He added that safety measures, including temporary road closures to ensure emergency services can reach areas around the ground, were already in place.
Mr Denham also backed calls for a rail halt earlier this month.