ROAD bosses have bid for a share of a £3.5bn grant to improve roads in Southampton.

Civic chiefs are asking central government to fund works to repair Redbridge Causeway and replace Northam Rail Bridge.

If the bids are successful the schemes would need to be delivered by 2025.

Almost £40m could go towards the project which would see Northam Rail Bridge, the bridge that leads up to the main Northam Bridge, replaced with a new widened bridge in a bid to improve journey times and air quality.

Cllr Jacqui Rayment, inset, cabinet member for transport and place at Southampton City Council (SCC), said if the bid is successful work to replace Northam Rail Bridge could start in 2022/23.

“This is an important step towards securing funding for the much needed replacement of Northam Rail Bridge. The bridge is in poor condition and a major cause of congestion into the city going as far back as the M27 and Hedge End,” she added.

Meanwhile, Hampshire County Council (HCC) has applied for £12.2m to carry out repairs to Redbridge West and Redbridge East bridges.

This would be the third phase of repair works on the causeway. As reported, the set of concrete bridges over the River Test was found in “poor condition” and had 21 joints replaced last year. HCC has committed £8.4million from its highways budget for the second phase of the work which is set to start later this year and will involve concrete repairs and concrete protection to the bridge spanning over Redbridge Road and to the concrete piers of the viaduct spanning over River Test.

But the third phase of the scheme will cost £14.4 million to deliver.

Cllr Rob Humby, executive member for economy, transport and environment at HCC said: “Hampshire County Council is committed to contributing 15% of this but has no further funding identified which is why the scheme is dependent on the £12.2 million requested from the Department for Transport."

Both schemes to repair Redbridge Causeway and replace Northam Bridge have been highlighted by the Transport for the South East (TfSE), as part of a regional call on the Government to release funds for improving major roads in the South East. TfSE is a new regional body which brings together local authorities, business groups and the transport industry to speak with one voice on the region’s transport needs.

Cllr Keith Glazier, chair of TfSE, said: “A high-quality, reliable transport network is absolutely critical to our region’s continued success, so it’s vital we make a strong case for ongoing investment on behalf of people and businesses in the South East.”

A spokesperson for SCC said there is no hard date for a decision from the government but it is likely to be by the end of the year.