CAMPAIGNERS have backed temporary cycle and bus lanes in Southampton and are now calling on civic chiefs to go a step further.

Campaign group Southampton Street Space is asking Southampton City Council to implement further measures to support active travel across the city.

The news comes as the authority has already started to trial temporary bus and cycle lanes in a bid to tackle pollution.

As reported, some measures have been met with criticism with calls to remove the bus lane along the A3024 Bitterne Road West amid fears it will increase pollution.

But members of Southampton Street Space welcomed the new pop-up lanes and asked civic chiefs to link them to a new network of Active Travel Corridors.

They are also calling on the city council to set up the so-called Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

These would see planters and bollards at one end of a street in order to still allow access but prevent vehicles from using the street as a cut through.

Bollards and planters outside shops and cafes to widen footways and a 20mph speed limit outside city businesses  are also among the measures proposed by the group.

In a letter to the council campaigners said: “Now the lockdown is easing,  traffic levels are rising, with many residents complaining of their streets being used as high speed ‘rat runs’. We need a network of safe corridors on main roads that are linked by quiet residential streets, so residents have a realistic alternative to the car.”

Laurie Carrigan, from Southampton Street Space, also welcomed the new pop-up bus and cycle lanes across the city.

He said: “Cycling or scooting along Hill Lane / Bassett Avenue / Bitterne Road West, was simply not an option for people before a safe lane was provided for them.  By giving people more options to leave their cars at home for some of their trips, it frees up space on the roads for those essential journeys that do need to be made by car.”

Cllr Steve Leggett, cabinet member for green city and place, said active travel corridors are already part of city council’s plans.

He added: “These plans already include many of the proposals put forward by Southampton Street Space, including the roll out of Active Travel Zones which use a variety of measures – including bollards, planters and other modal filters – to calm or discourage traffic and prioritise people walking and cycling. We are keen to take this conversation forward with Southampton Street Space and in the meantime would encourage them to share their proposals in more detail using our Southampton Travel Map.”

Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead backed campaigners.

He said: “There has been a huge uptick in cycling during the COVID-19 crisis and these pop up lanes are important in sustaining that. I would support longer term, properly segregated lanes and networks across the city. If we take no action we risk moving backwards.”