MULTI million pound proposals have been unveiled to revamp the northern side of Southampton Central railway station.

A public consultation has been launched into a £6m facelift with a new pedestrian-friendly entrance, piazza and drop-off area.

Improvements are also planned for both sides of Wyndham Place, opposite the station, including four new bus stops, a new plaza with seating and a sheltered amphitheatre that could become a venue for events and street performances outside existing shops and cafes.

A giant playable chess board is among the street features being considered by designers.

The taxi rank along Blechynden Terrace would be moved to the other side of the road, next to Costa Coffee, with a new shelter. A toilet would be provided for waiting cabbies.

Ollie Davey, from lead designers Urban Initiatives, said the idea was to create a “gateway” to the city and a “place in its own right”.

Detailed designs will be worked on in the autumn for work to start by next summer.

Council leader Cllr Richard Williams said: “We are keen to see it happen and if we can get the same sort of progress we got on the other side of the station it would be fantastic.”

Transport Secretary Justine Greening last month officially opened a £2.4m revamp of the south side of the station, with a new art deco-style frontage along Western Esplanade, a larger booking hall and waiting room, a new cafe, state-of-the-art information screens and a better drop-off area.

The station, which handles six million passengers a year, was the 250th to get a revamp through Network Rail’s £150m national stations improvement programme.