IT’S a £8m scheme to boost economic growth in Southampton by easing traffic congestion in one of the city’s worst hotspots.

And now the public has a chance to give their views on the proposals to improve waterfront travel.

Council chiefs want to create a new dual carriageway along Platform Road to ease motorists’ misery and pave the way for an expansion of Southampton’s port and cruise operation.

As previously revealed, construction of the extra lanes is expected to create around 300 short-term jobs.

And funding bids claimed it could create between 3,000 and 4,000 jobs further down the line.

Plans for the scheme, dubbed Platform For Prosperity, will be put on display at three public exhibitions starting tomorrow.

Councillor Asa Thorpe, Cabinet member for transport, said: “The current system in this area is far from ideal and impedes the free flow of traffic through the bottom of town and to and from the port.

“Under the new proposals, Queens Park will be able to fulfil its original purpose as a park and will no longer serve as a large traffic island. The council is encouraging all interested residents and businesses to look at the proposals and feed back their views on the proposed changes.”

Under the plans, a new section of dual carriageway along the full length of Platform Road from Town Quay through to Canute Road is planned so the gyratory route around Queen’s Park can be downgraded for access to flats and businesses.

The eastern end of Queen’s Terrace will be closed, becoming a no-through route.

Southampton City Council, backed by the Solent Enterprise Partnership, won a £5.6m funding bid from the Government’s regional growth fund to pay for the bulk of the scheme.

Docks owners ABP have put up £1m and the council has earmarked £1.3m.

Doug Morrison, Solent LEP chairman and director of the ABP port director, said: “The port of Southampton is vital to the Solent and UK economy, providing a gateway to European and Global markets.

The car export business in particular has grown despite the global economic slowdown, and these improvements to Platform Road will assist greatly the car manufacturers in the UK.”

Consultation Dates

The following public consultation events are being held:

• Tuesday, May 29, 4pm to 8pm at God’s House Tower, Winkle Street, SO14 2NY.

• Wednesday, May 30, 4pm to 8pm at God’s House Tower, Winkle Street, SO14 2NY.

• Friday, June 1, 12pm to 6pm at Ocean Cruise Terminal, Eastern Docks, Southampton, SO14 3QN.

• You can download the council's leaflet explaining the proposals or view the map below for details of the scheme.