AN UNDERPASS at one of Southampton’s busiest roundabouts is set to shut.

Civic chiefs have been given permission to close the underpass, which links the Redbridge Roundabout to a pathway near West Way Nissan showroom.

City traffic bosses say the walkway will become unnecessary once its £15 million revamp of the roundabout is complete.

They say the Highways England works, which are currently underway, include improvements to the nearby pedestrian crossing – located fewer than 100 metres east of the underpass.

Daily Echo:

On Thursday, magistrates gave Southampton City Council the all clear to close it up.

City council solicitor Mary Kigonya told Southampton Magistrates’ Court how work was already underway to improve the area for both pedestrian and cyclists as part of the Highways England scheme.

She said how plans included improvements to an already existing toucan crossing between the eastern side of the roundabout and a footpath, which links to Old Redbridge Road.

READ: Redbridge Roundabout roadworks will begin next week (and last until 2020) >>>

Magistrates asked if the increased used of the crossing would disrupt the traffic flow, from the westbound carriageway of Redbridge Road on to Redbridge Roundabout.

City council traffic boss Colin Perris moved to reassure the bench that it would not.

He said: “The flow of traffic will not change.

“The crossing is where the traffic already stops.

“We won’t change the management of the traffic system there.”

Mr Perris added that the underpass “unsuitable” and that feedback from members of the public over the decision had been “overwhelmingly positive”.

He said: “There seems to be a shift in the community about subways.

“Where feasible, people want them filled-in.”

Daily Echo:

Ms Kigonya added that the council had received no objections to the plans, which had been put out to public consultation at the end of last year.

She said notices had been put in the local press, though not in the Daily Echo, and signs had been placed near to the underpass.

The court was told how temporary crossing signals would be installed to replace the underpass, until the roundabout works were complete.

Magistrates agreed to close the underpass.

Chairman of the bench, Charles Aspinell, said: “From what we have heard and read we are content that this stopping up order can take affect from today.”

As previously reported in the Echo, Highways England plan to add an extra lane to Redbridge Roundabout to ease congestion for vehicles travelling from the M271 to Southampton city centre and the port.

The roundabout will also be widened on the southern side from Southampton to create four lanes and increase its capacity, while crossings for pedestrians and cyclists will be improved.

The work, which began on May 1, is expected to run until spring 2020.