CONCERNS have been raised about a scheme to transform a Southampton ring road after plans for a ‘pocket park’ were left out.

In January this year, plans were unveiled to improve several junctions along the A3024 Northern Ring Road.

Plans, put forward by the then Labour council included the closure of the junction of Devonshire Road with Cumberland Place.

A ‘pocket park’ was then planned to be created on the site, but now, with work set to start on October 11, members of the opposition have raised concerns about changes to original proposals.

Last week the city council revealed that work will include the widening of Charlotte Place roundabout, the introduction of a third lane at the East Park Terrace junction, Grosvenor Square becoming one-way, a new contraflow cycle lane and the resurfacing of the parking layby on Brunswick Place.

But Bargate ward councillor and shadow transport cabinet member, Cllr Sarah Bogle said: “The item that is noticeable by its absence is the closure of Devonshire Road and the creation of a pocket park.

“I have asked whether this is still in consideration as changes to the programme need agreement with the Department of Transport.

“As a ward councillor, I and my colleagues Cllr Paffey and Noon spent much time engaging local residents about the original scheme during the consultation period.

“This scheme is more of an enabler to other schemes that assisted sustainable travel planned under the Transforming Cities Fund which I have also asked for clarification on.”

Cabinet member for growth and deputy council leader, Cllr Jeremy Moulton said however that the Devonshire Road closure is “still under consideration”.

It comes as he is said to be concerned about the possible impact on Archers Road and said that modelling suggests “a considerable increase” in traffic on Hill Lane and “a likely impact” on Wilton Avenue.

Cllr Moulton added that city bosses are assessing traffic modelling and the possible impact of a closure on neighbouring roads.

The work, which comes as part of the Transforming Cities Fund, is due to take eight weeks overall and is expected to provide better and safer connectivity for people walking and cycling.

Leader of the opposition, Councillor Satvir Kaur said: “It’s good to see Labour’s plans being rolled out here, which we know are popular with local communities living in the inner city.

“However let’s be clear, this Conservative Council’s commitment to sustainable travel has been an embarrassment to date, with tens of thousands of local tax-payers money being spent on ripping up popular schemes like Bedford Place and taking the city backwards.

“Let’s hope this doesn’t happen again with new scheme coming forward.”