A company is seeking consent to continue operating a car park that aims to reduce cruise-related traffic in Southampton city centre.

Passengers leave their cars at the site in Wharf Road, Woolston, before being taken to and from ships by a park-and-ride service.

Drivers booking a parking space are urged to use roads on the eastern side of the River Itchen when entering and leaving the city.

Now Southampton City Council has received a retrospective application to operate the 250-space car park, which opened in April this year.

Daily Echo: Planning permission is being sought to retain a car park used by passengers joining cruise ships in SouthamptonPlanning permission is being sought to retain a car park used by passengers joining cruise ships in Southampton (Image: Newsquest)

Marchwood-based Oceanic (Woolston) Ltd has submitted the application on behalf of Airlynx Southampton, which formerly used land at Marine Parade.

Customers park their vehicles themselves and retain the keys.

A statement that accompanies the application says: "Our business seeks to offer short and long-term parking for passengers accessing the cruise ships that operate from the Port of Southampton.

"The location enables customers to avoid the city centre on arrival and departure.

"We have carried out surveys which show the majority of customers approach the facility from the M27 junctions to the east, which ensures these vehicles don't enter the city."

Daily Echo: The car park in Wharf Road, Woolston, is near the Itchen BridgeThe car park in Wharf Road, Woolston, is near the Itchen Bridge (Image: Stephen Bath)

The statement says they are also urged to head east to the M27, avoiding the Itchen Bridge, when driving out of Woolston after their cruise.

It adds: "Our staff are on site to open up in the morning and secure the site at the end of the day.

"Once customers have parked their vehicles we operate a park-and-ride service to transfer them to the port. Similarly, we offer a shuttle service to return them to their vehicles at the end of their cruise.

"Our busy period runs between April to November, when we expect to accommodate approximately 500 cars in and out every week.

"We understand an issue was raised in regard to dust in the car park.

"This has been lessened by use of a water bowser to dampen down the car park during extremely hot weather. We also have plans for a more permanent surface, should we receive planning permission."

But the application has sparked two letters of objection.

One person said: "This has already happened, with no consultation. I feel this area should be used to benefit Woolston and the surrounding community, but all it does is bring additional traffic."

Another objector said cars and coaches were going in and out of the site "at all hours".

Separately, Southampton City Council has issued a warning about "rogue" parking companies.

It comes after "several complaints" prompted Trading Standards to launch an investigation.

Port operator ABP has banned "unauthorised organisations" from the port – and has alerted police.

This is unrelated to this planning application.