A MULTI-MILLION pound cycle route from the New Forest to Southampton has been given the green light.

Plans for the nine mile route connecting the New Forest with the city of Southampton have been approved by Hampshire County Council.

The £3.4 million scheme will be funded largely from the successful joint bid by Hampshire County Council and Southampton City Council for nearly £57 million from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund for new infrastructure to improve the way people travel around southwest Hampshire.

The decision was made by Councillor Rob Humby, who gave the green light to construct the long-distance cycle route between Holbury, in the south, to Eling - and onward routes to Totton/ Southampton - in the north.

The scheme will also provide cycling links within and between the communities of Waterside.

Councillor Humby said: “I am grateful for the valuable feedback provided by residents and businesses through the consultation that took place last year on this scheme.

"We have listened to what people have had to say and made some adjustments to the scheme’s design as a result. For example, requests to provide a new single stage Toucan crossing near the Bury Lane, Marchwood Road and Trotts Lane junction has been reviewed and the scheme plan adjusted accordingly to ensure there is a direct route for cyclists.

“These plans are in line with the Government’s ambition for more active ways of travelling, we want to improve facilities and networks to enable this and encourage more people to leave the car at home and use public transport, cycle, or walk for their local journeys.”