PLANS to turn part of Southampton city centre into a traffic-free zone are to be given the green light as part of a major investment.

New Road, Above Bar Street and Portland Terrace are set to be closed to through traffic as part of a £4.1m plan.

However, the three roads are expected to remain open to taxis, buses and cyclists in a bid to encourage sustainable travel.

Closures and other measures could  also be put in place at Devonshire Road, Cumberland Place, London Road, Bellvue Road and Civic Centre Road.

Further details of the schemes including a start date and how the measures will be enhanced are yet to be revealed.

But according to official documents they could be rolled out by September this year.

The initiatives are all parts of Southampton City Council’s Green Transport Recovery Plan which is set to be approved by cabinet members on July 14.

Other measures listed in the plan include pop-up cycle lanes across the city with some of them currently being trialled such as those in Bassett Avenue, The Avenue, Hill Lane and Bitterne Road West.

The proposals set to be discussed by cabinet member on Tuesday also include future plans which could see the expansion of the pedestrian and cycle core in the city centre.

According to a city council report, the move would affect Guildhall Square, East Street, High Street and  Bargate and could see a 20mph limit in place.

A number of cycle parking spaces are also set to be put in place across the city along with measures to guarantee social distancing.

It is understood that a public consultation will be launched as the schemes will be trialled.

Talking ahead of the meeting,  Cllr Steve Leggett, cabinet member for green city and place at the city council, said: “We now have the opportunity to bring these city centre plans forward and trial them in an experimental capacity.

"This will provide a safer and more spacious environment that supports social distancing and the recovery of our local economy, while crucially contributing to a cleaner and more pleasant environment.

"We will be gathering feedback from local residents and businesses while the measures are being trialled and encourage everyone to embrace the unique opportunity we now have for a safer, greener, fairer and healthier city.”