RESIDENTS should consider ditching their cars in turn for bikes or buses to avoid traffic woes, the council has suggested.

Frustrated motorists were stuck in their cars for hours on Saturday as traffic across Southampton came to a standstill.

Congestion was blamed on roadworks, Saints playing at home, the impact of train strikes and cruise ships arriving and departing. 

Residents in Regents Park Road near Costco called the situation a ‘nightmare’ as shoppers leaving the budget warehouse caused long queues on nearby streets.

READ MORE: Traffic chaos near Costco leaves residents considering moving house

Traffic jams also built up on Millbrook Road East during the evening rush hour this week as works to Redbridge Causeway got underway.

With more railway strikes on the horizon, tomorrow could bring more traffic misery and endless queues.

Daily Echo: Traffic queues on Saturday October 1Traffic queues on Saturday October 1 (Image: Traffic on Saturday October 1)

'Sustainable transport'

To avoid a repeat of last week's chaos, Southampton City Council is encouraging people to move away from cars and try more "sustainable ways of transport" instead - such as buses or e-scooters.

A council spokesperson said residents should take up the 5 for £5 bus travel offer, which has recently been extended, or use e-scooters which they called an "affordable, safe alternative to the car".

They also mentioned a bike and ebike sharing scheme about to be launched.

READ MORE: Plans to improve district will disrupt thousands of journeys

Statement in full

Asked what the council is doing to ease congestion across the city, the spokesperson said: "Southampton City Council are making a number of improvements within the City to improve the flow of traffic as well as reduce the amount of traffic on the roads.

"The Transforming Cities Fund which was awarded by the Department for Transport has already delivered key infrastructure and safety traffic schemes, See Latest transport & traffic updates - Connecting Southampton for more details. These schemes will enable the delivery of bold and ambitious projects to prioritise sustainable travel in both residential areas and on key corridors into the City.

"We are also making bus travel more affordable with our 5 for £5 offer. The offer allows groups of up to five people to travel at weekends on Bluestar and Unilink services, City Red services or Southampton Mini Link buses and pay just £5 for the whole day. The offer has proved so popular, with around 23,000 tickets being sold, that we are extending the it into the Autumn.

"E scooters are another popular option to travel around the city, they are an affordable, safe alternative to the car and, thanks to the growing number of parking rack locations, are more convenient too.

"At the end of this week a new bike and ebike sharing scheme called ‘Beryl Bikes By Breeze’ will be launched where riders can hire pedal and ebikes through an online app."

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