A MULTI-MILLION pound plan to upgrade a congested bottleneck in Southampton has been unveiled.

Highways England has unveiled a £130m scheme to upgrade junction 8 of the M27 and the A3024 corridor leading into Southampton.

Transport bosses say the two areas need urgent work to curb congestion.

Under the plans, junction 8 of the M27 and the Windhover Roundabout at Bursledon will be widened to allow for increased capacity for cars and improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

Along a four and half mile stretch of the A3024 into Southampton, 25 junctions will be upgraded to help buses run more efficiently.

In addition, the Northam Road rail bridge leading up to the main Northam Bridge just north of St Mary’s Stadium will be replaced and the road widened.

The Bitterne rail bridge will also be improved.

Joe Clark, Highways England project manager, said: “These are an ambitious set of improvements, and are the result of Highways England and local authorities working together to develop a joined-up set of improvements that will deliver real benefits to drivers and people living and work in Southampton and Hampshire.”

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Southampton City Council’s cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “This is a great opportunity to improve the wider transport infrastructure on the main routes in and out of Southampton for residents, commuters, and visitors.

“The scheme will aim to reduce congestion, improve journey times and traffic flow, improve road safety, maximise opportunities for sustainable travel and support long-term sustainable economic growth.”

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, added: “Most people that go westwards from Sarisbury and Swanwick will head to junction 8 which is a frequently congested route. I welcome the improvements to junction 8, Windhover roundabout and the route into Southampton.”

Funding for the scheme will come from the government’s £15bn roads investment strategy.

Highways England is running consultations to engage with residents about the scheme which will take place between Friday, September 22 and Tuesday, October 3 at various venues across the city.

Following the consultation, construction is expected to commence in 2019/20, with the Northam railway bridge taking between a year and 18 months to complete.