NEW cycle paths have been opened in Southampton and are the first in the city to be inspired to those in Copenhagen.

A one-way segregated cycle lane path has been created on each side of Inner Avenue, as part of a major scheme aimed at improving facilities for cyclists across the city.

The new route costs £1.4 million and will allow cyclists to ride from Southampton to Chandler’s Ford.

New kerbs separate the new cycle lanes from traffic, including buses, and the existing footpath.

The bus stops on Inner Avenue have new layouts which means people getting on and off the bus are separated from the cycle lane.

The work is part of the SCN5 Northern Cycle Freeway scheme led by Southampton City Council (SCC).

Cllr Jacqui Rayment, cabinet member for transport and place at SCC, said: “It’s great to see the opening of the new cycle route on Inner Avenue. Lots of people are already reporting back to us that they are enjoying using it. Building the Southampton Cycle Network (SCN) is an important part of our commitment to create the cleaner, greener, healthier city that we’ve set out in our Green City Charter. ”

The junctions have been adjusted so that the road is at the same level as the foot/cycleway and laid out so traffic has to slow down when turning in and out, giving way to people using the crossings. The new crossings have line marking and different coloured surfacing to highlight where the footpath and cycle way has priority.

The scheme will also see a new toucan crossing installed at the bottom of the road, replacing the long-standing Dorset Street subway which is set to be filled in. SCC said the shared foot/cycleway on the western side of Inner Avenue has been kept. "This will remove a lot of the conflict between people walking and cycling on this narrow section, making it safer and more pleasant,” the authority added.