WITH pedestrian friendly, one-way streets, a new play park and colourful street art, it represents one of the biggest changes to a city district centre in generations.

Plans worth £1.2m have been unveiled to breathe life into the tired looking centre of Woolston in Southampton, with work beginning by the end of the summer. A key feature of the proposals, developed through community feedback, is to introduce a one way system along the main shopping thoroughfare in Victoria Road.

And trees, plants and benches will be included to boost the environmental appeal of the high street.

Consultation with Woolston’s traders and community association has found favour for the one-way system because of the positive effect of closing one lane to traffic two years ago to allow for road works. North-bound traffic would be re-routed along Keswick Road, Woodley Road and Portsmouth Road.

Speed limits will be reduced to 20mph on these roads.

Traffic-calming measures will also be introduced in Obelisk Road and there will be better pedestrian links between Portsmouth Road and the bus station area.

When the Daily Echo spoke to residents the reaction was mixed, although most welcomed a facelift for the area. But Woolston Traders’ Association chairman Andy Grace said: “It is everything we have been asking for. “It is about time because we have not had any kind of spending down here since as long as I can remember.”

The project is being funded by Crest Nicholson, which is redeveloping the former Vosper Thornycroft site.

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “The new traffic calming measures are critical to improving the feeling of safety within the area and slowing traffic in such a pedestrian heavy area, used well by families and children.”