PEDESTRIANISED city centre areas, an array of park and ride locations, miles of safe cycle networks, and less pollution.

This is how Southampton could look in just two decades, as civic chiefs announce their 20-year transport plan to transform the way the city is used.

Named Connected Southampton 2040, the draft Local Transport Plan (LTP) sets out what the city council’s approach to travel in the city will be, and the projects needed to make it a “more successful, healthy and sustainable” place to live.

Some of the key issues set out in the LTP includes a new network of Park and Ride sites that serve commuters as well as those visiting the city’s retail and leisure areas.

This is something which neighbouring cities, such as Winchester and Portsmouth, have had for decades. Both situate theirs just outside of the main city limits, enabling large car parking areas with regular busses shipping both locals and visitors across the area.

City councillors say they now want the same for Southampton, but want to situate the parking locations so users can “continue by bus, cycle, walk or car-share”.

Another plan is to create a “Liveable City Centre”, where pedestrians are given priority over vehicles. The plan adds that the council wants to create an area “where people want to live, work and spend time”.

This will be done by creating spaces and routes that are easy for people to walk, cycle, or give easy access to public transport.

The plans are currently in a 12-week consultation phase.

Cllr Jacqui Rayment, member for transport and the public realm, said: “It’s important we set out our long term vision for transport in Southampton so that we stand ready to face the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities the future brings.

“We are listening to what residents, businesses and visitors want by investing in improving our transport and supporting how people travel both in the short and long term. I would encourage as many people as possible to have their say in this consultation as the future of transport in the city affects us all.”

Other proposals include developing a Mass Transit System that, council bosses say, will allow people to travel “easily” around the city on high quality, reliable vehicles which congestion corridor priority access.

A roll-out of a network of Active Travel Zones in local neighbourhoods, that encourage people to adopt new ways of getting around for local journeys, and a “comprehensive” Cycle Network, form the base of the LTP plans.

However, leader of the opposition Conservative group Councillor Dan Fitzhenry thinks creating a “world class” public transport network would be the best strategy to grow the city and its economy.

“We would be going to the world-leading cities that have major traffic problems similar to our own and find out what they’re doing to fix it – we would then look to follow a similar model,” he said.

“The key with a long-term plan like this is to be as ambitious, and bid for as much public money as you can.

“But, for us, we would want to maximise public transport.”

Cllr Fitzhenry added: “Yes, more people are going to be walking and cycling (with Labour’s plan), but the road space is the road space and it is not going to get any wider, so we need to be looking a mass public transport solutions to allow for economic growth.”

To have your say on the plans, visit: