MORE details have been released on the transformation of Southampton’s Royal Pier and ferry terminal plans.

Red Funnel have published these images of the first phase of the £450 million waterfront development which will involve the relocation of the firm’s Southampton terminals to Trafalgar Dry Dock in the Western Docks.

It forms part of the Royal Pier Waterfront scheme to be built by RPW (Southampton) Limited which will could eventually include 730 homes, 50 shops and a range of offices, bars and restaurants.

The plan, currently under consideration by Southampton City Council, could also contain a casino, hotel and spa, and an arts and culture “hub”.

Red Funnel’s relocation, set for the end of 2017, was approved by city councillors last week. It has secured £15 million of central government funding, through the Solent Growth Deal, to pay for infrastructure work in Southampton and at the East Cowes terminal.

The firm are due to lodge planning application with the Island authority on Friday (January 29) for a new terminal and marshalling area in East Cowes.

This application is likely to be considered by councillors in April.

The new £33.5 million Southampton terminal complex includes new berths for Red Funnel’s fleet, a 357-space four-deck multi storey car park – labelled by some of the scheme’s critics as an “ugly monster” – passenger walkways and low and high-level “linkspans” for boarding vehicles.

Traffic will enter and leave the new terminal via Dock Gate 5 on Platform Road.

Passengers arriving by car will be met by more, larger check-in booths and longer, covered lanes for waiting traffic, more parking spaces for HGVs, a cycle parking area, a taxi rank and a vehicle drop-off area. In all the new complex will have 450 parking spaces compared to 336 at the current terminal.

Red Funnel claim the new terminal will speed up loading and disembarkation.

Daily Echo: An artist's impression of the new car park and the ferry terminal

Foot passengers will gain access to the new terminal via a new pedestrian walkway and cycleway which will give the public access to a new stretch of waterfront in the city for the first time.

A free bus service will take Red Funnel customers to and from the city centre and the rail and coach stations.

The new terminal’s cafe restaurant will have an outside seating area with views of passing ships.

Red Funnel will move its head office in Bugle Street into a new purpose-built premises on the site of the old Trafalgar Dry Dock pump house.

Listed pump machinery sited below the surface will be preserved and will be open to view through glass panels in the floor of the building.

There will also be exhibition space charting Red Funnel’s history from 1820.

Trafalgar Dock, currently used largely for valet parking associated with Carnival Cruises, was opened in 1905, named for the centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar, and was the largest dry dock built at that time. Later it was the location for the BOAC flying boat service.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO, said “We’re delighted that the plans for Southampton have been approved. This is a major step for Red Funnel in terms of delivering the first part of the Solent Gateways scheme alongside the proposals for East Cowes, which are also being progressed.

“It will enhance the customer experience and benefit the economies of Southampton and the Isle of Wight.”