This live event has finished
- Traffic jams clogging city centre
- Five cruise ships alongside today
- Many major routes into city centre at a standstill for hours
- Traffic began easing after 4pm
- Took some drivers hours to travel short distances in city centre
We're closing down the live blog now, although you will still be able to post comments about what you think of today's traffic.
There will be plenty more coverage in the Daily Echo tomorrow, as the city evaluates the lessons that need to be learned from today's chaos.
Platform Rd; Breakdown partially blocking road at junction with Terminus Terrace and Canute Rd.**now cleared**— @scchighways 10 January 2014
Traffic on Town Quay earlier today
Tonight there will be people heading towards Town Quay and Mayflower Park to see the fireworks for QM2 at 8pm tonight, although the traffic should be nowhere near the levels that caused the problems earlier today - even with the traffic incidents reported at 7.38pm.
A brief clip showing some of the traffic in the city centre this afternoon.
Platform Rd breakdown partially blocking road at junction with Terminus Terrace and Canute Rd. Approach with caution.— @scchighways 10 January 2014
Itchen Bridge Inbound RTI. Lane partially blocked, approach with caution.— @scchighways 10 January 2014
7:01pm Fri 10 Jan 14
Costa Baz says
ToastyTea wrote:I've used Park and Ride, in Leicester, and it was simplicity itself.
park and ride ?
Not sure how well it would work in Southampton, as there seem to be so many bottleneck areas, where bus lanes disappear and the benefit of using the bus, disappears with it.
What would be better is for the buses to come back under the control of the city, so they can be run for the people, making a modest profit, as a result of fairer fares, luring car users back onto them.
The bus service in London wasn't privatised, and as a result it is possible, by using the Oyster Card, to make lengthy bus journeys for just £1.40. There is also a fixed limit on the card, so if you want to spend the day, just riding buses, it will never exceed the daily limit, something like £8.00, I think. Even without an Oyster Card, a journey will be a set price, such as £2.80, for going 1stop or to the end of it's journey.
Privatisation has been the scourge of this nation, with billions of pounds of profits going into private pockets, with more money being lost owing to the tax avoidance schemes used by those companies, especially the utilities.
Angry commuters have emailed into the Daily Echo to voice their concerns at today's traffic chaos.
Sheila Porter, said: "To have five ships going out at once is ludicrous. We arrived on West Quay Road at 12.02pm and didn't get to car park until 2.36pm
"Over 2 and a half hour wait. It was dreadful. Never again.
"Someone somewhere ought to make sure that it never happens again.
"We were only shopping and retired so the frustration although high was not mixed with stress of trying to get somewhere at a special time.
"We will check in future as we live in Ferndown Dorset and would not of made that trip if we had known."
Meanwhile, Roger Macnamara, said: "The people who run this poor excuse for a city must be the biggest bunch of imbeciles that were put on this earth."
Good evening. There are currently no significant delays on routes in & out of the City.— @scchighways 10 January 2014
A335 #Eastleigh - Slow southbound on Wide Lane between South Street and #M27 J5.— @ROMANSE 10 January 2014
5:39pm Fri 10 Jan 14
phil maccavity says
First of all commiserations for all those who were stuck in traffic today.
Unfortunately I was one of them and, like plenty of others, I was the only one in the car.
In my experience the City's road system has done pretty well to accommodate increased traffic bearing in mind West Quay, Ikea, increased Cruise Ships, Boat Show, St Mary's stadium etc.
However the two sets of simultaneous road works have caused considerable short term pain for, hopefully. long term gain.
As someone who often has to travel throughout the UK by road, it seemed that traffic levels had decreased quite a bit after 2009.
However in the last 6 months or so traffic levels everywhere appear to have shot up. Is this due to the economic recovery or reduction and cost of public transport?
Still putting things in perspective I remember it taking ages to get home to Bitterne years ago on the bus so nothing changes except our aspirations.
There are currently no significant delays on West Quay Rd, Platform Rd / Queens Terrace and around Dock Gate 4.— @scchighways 10 January 2014
4:31pm Fri 10 Jan 14
The thing is these roadworks have been going on for several weeks, and the council hasn't done anything to prevent any further congestion. This was the third time it got this bad, surely they should have implemented a plan to sort this out. Clearly they don't have a plan. But they were very quick to introduce the after 6 o'clock parking charges.
I walked by Dock Gate 4 today just after 10 o'clock, and I couldn't see one single person doing any kind of work!
Perhaps it's time Ms Rayment thinks about whether she's suitable for the job rather than blaming other agencies and companies for the massive traffic jams.
Some cruise passengers took matters into their own hands and decided to walk rather than wait any longer in the traffic.
4:05pm Fri 10 Jan 14
I was Driving my wife to work just before 2.00 and we were stuck in the left hand lane of Eastbound Mountbatten Way simply because some selfish driver attempted to jump the queue and then push into the middle lane just before the traffic lights onto West Quay Road. Naturally, as the traffic wasn't moving they couldn't barge in. They felt the need to wait there for FIFTEEN minutes needlessly holding up the entire lane behind them.
Traffic on Platform Road beside the roadworks area.
Southampton City Council is advising anyone heading towards the docklands area around Dock Gate 4, to use a route from the east rather than via the M271 and Millbrook Road/West Quay Road, if possible.
The authority says roads from the east, such as via the Itchen or Northam Bridges are not as congested as those from the west.
Reporter Michael Carr says traffic is begining to ease along West Quay Road now, although that may change with rush hour approaching.
One driver says it took them two-and-a-half hours to drive from Dock Gate 10 to the De Vere Hotel.
Down beside Dock Gate 4, Daily Echo reporter Emily Ford says traffic is slowly moving every 10 seconds or so through the roadworks area, with queues extending halfway down Canute Road and Terminus Terrace and all the way around the Queen's Park gyratory system.
Traffic on Millbrook Road
The head of transport in the city, Cllr Jacqui Rayment, has spoken on behalf of the council
Southampton City Council’s cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We’re aware that drivers have been experiencing delays in the city centre and we regret any inconvenience caused.
"The council and its highways partner are constantly reviewing and implementing measures to improve peak time traffic flow and reduce congestion, including modifying traffic management arrangements and signal phasing, extending the hours when manual control of signals is used, and working with ABP to increase staff levels at Dock Gate 4. All this will help to speed up traffic entering and leaving the port, as far as is possible.
“There were five large cruise ships in port on Friday and as a result there were considerably more vehicles on the roads in the city centre.
"The ongoing improvement works at Platform Road can have an impact on journey times around Dock Gate 4, particularly when more than one cruise liner is in port and passengers are disembarking and joining the ships.
"These works represent a major investment in the city’s infrastructure and once complete will contribute to reducing congestion and boosting economic growth within the city centre and the Port of Southampton.”
It's not just drivers counting the cost, but city centre businesses too:
General Manager Alex Jackson, from Richmond Motor Group, on West Quay Road, said: "It's been like this since 6am this morning. I've had employees anywhere from half-an-hjour to tthree hours late, depending on where they are coming from.
"Five customers have had to phone up and cancel their appointments.
"We've probably lost about £10,000 because of the traffic.
"We expect it on a Saturday with the football which is fair enough, but there's never any warning for roadworks and we'd appreciate some notification because it does affect business.
"People coming out of the dock gate, there's no signs or anything for them, so we've had people wandering around and coming into our showroom asking to go because there's nowhere accomodating them."
#SOUTHAMPTON - Heavy traffic remains heading towards Dock Gate 4 on the A3057 past the superstores and via the A33 past St Mary's.— @ROMANSE 10 January 2014
The police have received a few calls from members of the public stuck in the traffic.
A driver reported their vehicle had broken down outside Southampton central police station at around 2.15pm.
They confirmed the highways department were manually controlling the traffic lights.
A complaint was received about a lorry blocking the entrance to the Red Funnel terminal in West Quay.
Police say they are aware of the problem and have contacted the CCTV service to monitor the situation.
A spokesman said: “We advise people to contact the council about traffic issues.”
Tonight, there will also be a fireworks display to mark the 10th anniversary of QM2's first sailing, attracing a large number of people into the Town Quay area, which is currently at the heart of the traffic problems.
Southern Road; broken down vehicle partially blocking the inside lane approaching the West Quay Road junction. Passable with care.— @scchighways 10 January 2014
Carol and Tony Russell have travelled from Suffolk to board the Queen Elizabeth cruise.
They told the Daily Echo they have been stuck in traffic for more than two and a half hours and have had to change their child’s nappy in the car.
Tony said: “We are very angry. We have phoned the police and traffic control but they haven’t done anything to help.
“We have never seen it like this before. We come every year but this is ridiculous.”
Live updates on our traffic and travel service >>
The traffic in the city centre has been bad all day.
We first reported it this morning but the situation has not improved as they day has gone on.
QM2 and Queen Elizabeth are due to leave the city on world cruises, while Saga Ruby has just returned from its last ever voyage, meaning there are no passengers getting board that ship today.
The five cruise ships in port today are QM2 - which is celebrating it's 10th anniversary - Queen Elizabeth, Arcadia, Saga Pearl and Saga Ruby II.
@dailyecho taken longer to get to dock gate 4 than drive from Essex ...get some one out there to sort it now please— @taxiranger 10 January 2014
Can only assume that @HantsPolRoads never look out of their window to see #southampton log jam @dailyecho— @TunstallM 10 January 2014
A frustrated van driver from Southampton who did not want to be named, said:” Driving around this town today is terrible. There is traffic queued up from Millbrook railway station all the way to Dock Gate 4.
“Along West Quay Road people were getting out of their cars and talking to one another, it was absolutely awful. In all my years driving in Southampton I have seen bad traffic but never as bad as this.
"This kind of traffic is not going to help the city in the cruising trade because people might miss the boat because they are waiting for ages to move anywhere.”
Outside Dock Gate 4, Platform Road is currently undergoing major roadworks to create a dual carriageway, while the junction at the western end of the Itchen Bridge is currently being redeveloped.
After previous delays when three cruise ships were in port, changes were made to the pelican crossing on Platform Road, linking the Eastern Docks and Queen's Park, in an attempt to keep road traffic moving as smoothly as possible.
The works on Platform Road began last summer, and are due to continue until April 2015.
Work on the Itchen Bridge is expected to continue until March, with further works on Central Bridge then being in place until May.
@dailyecho My step-mum drove to pick her parents up post-cruise from DG4, 4.5 hour round trip from Woodlands!— @squawkingbirds 10 January 2014
The view on Southern Road.
Daily Echo reporter Michael Carr is stuck in traffic on Southern Road near to West Quay Road where traffic is at an absolute standstill.
It doesn't look like anyone is moving anywhere soon, lots of people are changing their route.
In the space in ten minutes traffic has moved about 20 metres.
Southampton is at a standstill once again, with traffic clogging many major roads in the city centre.