LONG-AWAITED plans for a park and ride in Southampton have been welcomed by a group of local residents.

Campaign group Southampton Street Space described the plans for a park and ride by J1 of the M271 as "exciting news".

They also welcomed proposals for new bus lanes between the New Forest and Southampton city centre.

The news comes as earlier this week Southampton City Council announced that work on the schemes is now under way.

All projects are expected to be completed by 2022.

In a statement Southampton Street Space, which campaigns for safer streets across the city, said: "This is exciting news for bus users in the west of the city. More reliable journey times will make the bus a more feasible option for people wanting to leave their car at home for some of their journeys. This isn't a "war on the motorist" it's about giving people more choice. This is what we have to do if we want people to use sustainable transport, you have to make sustainable transport more attractive. You have to make sustainable transport more reliable and then people will want to use it."

As reported, the Park and Ride site will 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 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, according to the council. It has also been revealed that a 'Park and Travel’ scheme is going to be trialled in the east of the city but further details are yet to be disclosed.