OPPOSITION bosses in Southampton are urging civic chiefs to remove a temporary bus lane.

Cllr Dan Fitzhenry, leader of the opposition at Southampton City Council, is calling on the authority to remove the temporary bus lane along the A3024 Bitterne Road West as soon as possible. 

It comes as part of the carriageway between Union Road and  Maybray King Way has been turned into a temporary lane for buses, cyclists, taxis and private hire vehicles.

Civic chiefs stressed the measure is temporary and aimed at tackling pollution.

But Cllr Fitzhenry said it will cause more pollution.

He added: “The new temporary bus lane from Bitterne to Northam is a mistake. This will cause more pollution, inconvenience to motorists and is causing more people to reconsider coming into the city just when local businesses need them the most.”

The news comes as Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith also raised concerns over the scheme saying about 200 local residents complained with him in less than 24 hours.

He called for a review of the plans.

The council said the temporary bus and cycle lane is part of the authority’s Green Transport Recovery Plan.

The city council said the scheme will be reviewed weekly.

Cllr Christopher Hammond, council leader, said: “These are bold schemes, but ultimately, they are trials. Over the next few months, we’ll be using traffic data, journey times (for all users) and feedback received during the consultation period, before any final decisions are made. All these trials can be removed, altered or made permanent, easily. Politicians should hear from the range of perspectives about these schemes and reflect, rather than react, to transport schemes in our city.”

Residents can have their say on the changes by writing to traffic.orders.legal@southampton.gov.uk

As previously reported, other temporary cycle lanes have been implemented in other parts of the city including Portswood Road, Hill Lane and Bassett Avenue.