DRIVERS are set to face months of traffic misery as work on a major cycle scheme in Southampton is to begin.

New segregated on and off-road cycle lanes and improved cycle and pedestrian crossings are to be created on The Avenue from Lodge Road to Northlands Road as part of a £1.3m project.

Work will start on October 6 and is expected to last for 20 weeks.

City bosses pledged to minimise disruption as closures and lane restrictions will be in place but they advised motorists to prepare for delays.

The work is part of the Southampton Cycle Network, which has seen a number of new cycle lanes created across the city, including on Inner Avenue.

It comes as earlier this year Southampton City Council launched the Green City Charter in a bid to tackle air pollution.

Work will start with an overnight closure of The Avenue on October 6 from 8pm until 6am.

The junction of Northlands Road with The Avenue will remain closed for seven weeks starting from October 7 to allow the construction of a new crossing for pedestrians and cyclists and improvements on the existing footway and kerbs. Traffic will be diverted via Banister Road but road bosses said access to Cemetery Road will be maintained with temporary two-way lights via Northlands Road.

Lane restrictions on the Avenue are expected from November 18 for two weeks.

Parts of The Avenue are also set to be closed from 11pm to 6am during weeknights from December 9 for up to one week and from December 16 for up to one week.

There will be no works or traffic management from December 23 to January 5 and work at the junction of The Avenue and Lodge Road will start in the new year.

Cllr Jacqui Rayment, cabinet member for place and transport at the city council, said: “Supporting people to travel sustainably is one of the key measures set out in our Green City Charter.

"The Southampton Cycle Network has a fundamental role to play in this, providing purpose-built routes that enable people to cycle safely and confidently in and around our city.

"Thanks to the hard work of our transport team, The network is now truly beginning to take shape and it’s exciting to see so many people enjoying the new routes being delivered across Southampton.

"The Avenue cycle scheme is a crucial part of these ongoing developments. We will endeavour to minimise disruption throughout the works but would advise road users to prepare for delays.

"Please visit our My Journey website to help you plan your journeys while we continue to develop safe and direct cycling facilities along this popular route.”