THE SINGLE lanes on routes into Southampton are a costly and dangerous mistake.

Without consultation our city’s roads have been plunged into chaos and congestion.

The Northam Bridge was only made single lane a day before Friday’s accident.

Multiple vehicles were involved - and Police, Ambulance, and recovery vehicles were in attendance.

The resulting logjam stretched to the city centre.

On Monday drivers were beeping horns as they struggled to merge into the new single lanes.

Whilst residents found it difficult to turn into their streets.

As a pedestrian I found it hard to safely cross the single lanes, to get to the one pavement still open.

Southampton’s river crossings were already pinch points.

Anyone trying to get over the river at rush hour knows that it’s bumper to bumper on Bitterne Road West, Woodmill Lane, and at the triangle.

Now congestion will rise on all bridges as people detour to avoid the Northam nightmare.

And this is before schools and workplaces have gone back; with city shops half empty; and with bars and restaurants still closed.

As our city returns to normality the single lanes will surely paralyse Southampton.

Heaven help us on match days.

We have no park and ride, buses are empty because of Covid19, and only a handful of people cycle.

Trains and buses are expensive, and often not accessible options.

Cars are still the primary means of transport for most.

My friend can’t drop her disabled son to the school gates on public transport.

And white van man can’t deliver your Amazon delivery on a push bike.

But with Britain in recession, reeling from Covid and Brexit, it’s perhaps the economic impact of single lanes that will hit our city most. Making it harder to get into Southampton will make it a less attractive place to shop and work.

Why struggle through a single lane of stationary traffic to get to West Quay?

When you can go out of town. Or shop online.

And if the single lanes are to help the environment; it will be interesting in 6 months to look at vehicle emissions in Bitterne Park, Northam, Bitterne, St Denys, Portswood, and on the Avenue.

Because I’d wager that the single lanes will see stationary vehicles chuck out more fumes than ever.

2020 isn’t going well - single lane city just made it a whole lot worse.

Jon Walters