A LONG-AWAITED Park and Ride site in Southampton is finally set to be a reality as detailed plans are released.

The scheme also includes a Rapid Bus Corridor along Millbrook Road West, which will create a new super bus lane running from the New Forest into the centre of the city.

Work, which has already started, is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, the city council says.

The scheme has been made possible after the authority, as part of a joint bid with Hampshire County Council, was awarded a £57m grant from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund.

The new detailed plans reveal that the Park and Ride site will be based at J1 of the M271, and be part of the health campus being developed by the NHS on Bargain Farm. 

A service running to the city centre is expected to be trialled at weekends.

The city council has also said that the new bus lane linking Totton and Hythe to Southampton will result in Millbrook Road West and Mountbatten Way being widened.

Plans show this will be on the eastbound carriageway for both roads, with Millbrook Road West seeing 'new road space' from east of King George’s Avenue to the Regents Park Road junction, and Mountbatten Way being widened to extend the existing right hand turn into West Quay Road and create a new lane.

This will see the left hand lane of the A33 become a bus lane, the council said.

As well as this, a 'Park and Travel’ scheme is going to be trialled in the east of the city later this year, it has been revealed.

But further details are yet to be disclosed as plans are being drawn up.

Cllr Steve Leggett, cabinet member for green city and place, said: "The development of a Rapid Bus Corridor will dramatically change the face of public transport in Southampton, allowing people to travel easily and sustainably.

"Park and Ride will play a vital role in this. We’re delighted to now be taking the first steps towards this.”

The council added that residents using the park and ride would also be able to access other travel options which could include e-scooters and e-bikes, cycle parking and click and collect facilities, according to the council.

The plans also revealed that other bus lanes are also going to be delivered along Redbridge Road and in Totton and Marchwood.

Plans show that a consultation on the bus corridors have begun and will continue through the delivery of the scheme.

Civic chiefs said the measures will transform the way people move in and around the city.

But opposition councillor Steven Galton said the council should focus on other measures in residential areas and consult residents.

"Rapid bus corridors from Totton should not be the priority. Their plans will slow down car journeys and increase traffic in regent Park Road at the junction," he added.