Bedford Place/Carlton Place road closure pilot scheme

As part of our #SouthamptonInsideOut scheme, we have been working with Southampton City Council to explore areas of the city centre that businesses can utilise for additional outdoor dining, to help with the impacts of COVID-19, in particular Government guidance on reduced capacity in hospitality venues. To find out more about the Southampton Inside Out scheme go here.

Background

In August we launched an initial six-month road closure pilot scheme in the Bedford Place area with Southampton City Council. On 22 August 2020, three areas of road were pedestrianised to allow for more outdoor dining, the areas included are:
– Bedford Place (from Carlton Place to Henstead Road)
– Carlton Place (from Bedford Place to Southampton Street)
– Lower Banister Street (from Carlton Place to opposite Popworld)
Since the scheme launched, we have been working with affected traders in the area who have obtained additional pavement licences and installed tables and chairs in their designated areas.

The closures are being enforced through an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order through the council who have installed a mixture of planters and concrete blocks to close off the proposed areas.

We are pleased to hear that after a six month review the council has decided to continue with the pilot scheme until the end of summer 2021. The council will be working with local businesses as part of the evaluation and monitoring process to see how the space will be used in the winter months. As part of the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order restriction, the council is able to remove the scheme at any time within the 18 month period. FAQs can be found on the council’s website here.

Animation and activation

Since the launch, we have been working with local artists and other partners to create ways to animate the pedestrianised area to bring it to life and create an exciting place to visit, work and live.

Painted bollards

Working closely with Solent Showcase Gallery, GO! Southampton has commissioned local artists to design and paint the concrete bollards which are currently in situ as a safety measure on Bedford Place/Carlton Place. In total eight bollards were painted by artists including Kev Munday, Nathan Evans, Jonny Hannah and Stanley Cush.

Christmas 2020 activation

We wanted to ensure the Bedford Place/Carlton Place area was incorporated into our 2020 Christmas activity to encourage more people to visit this part of the city over the festive period. GO! Southampton installed a 14ft Christmas tree in the pedestrianised area, where Bedford Place and Carlton Place meet as well as installing additional festoon lighting on top of the regular Christmas lights.

With the help of the council and traders in the area, we also held a COVID-secure carol singing event on 11 December. Members of a local choir sang from the terrace of Revolution on Friday evening. A sound system carried the carols all around the area meaning everyone could sing along and listen in a safe, socially distanced way.

On the night, we arranged for Santa to make a special guest appearance starting from the roof top of Revolution and coming on to the street to meet the children, from a safe distance. Thank you to all those who came to the event and to everyone who helped organise it.

Branding

Nationally-renowned Southampton artist Nathan Evans has created a new brand for Bedford Place/Carlton Place. It respects the historic nature of the street and uses Georgian fonts. We hope you like it!

Road painting

This year we are embarking on an ambitious project further to lift the quality of the pedestrianised area. Our new road painting project in partnership with Solent Showcase Gallery and Southampton City Council is well underway and will be ready for visitors to enjoy from 12 April. This project helps to deliver our wider objective to introduce art into the public realm, making it accessible to everyone whilst also creating a more vibrant, dynamic city centre to enjoy. Through this project we are not only supporting local artists but also further animating the Bedford Place road closure pilot scheme through this fantastic grid-style road painting, designed by Amanda Moore. This interactive style of design looks to bring together the community by allowing local traders, school children and other artists to fill in the sections of the grid in their own unique way.

Amanda says, “The aim of the road mural is to help make Carlton Place feel more playful and interactive for pedestrian users. The gridded pattern plays on the social distancing markings we have become used to seeing over the last year and also references traditional vehicular road marking patterns. The grid is only partly infilled to allow a follow-on programme of contributors, including artists and local school groups, to become involved in designing further temporary infills. In this way it is envisaged that the work will be constantly evolving and maintaining interest.

GO! Southampton and partners will be organising this stage of the painting in the coming months. A huge thank you to both Amanda and local Architect Darren Bray for coordinating the project as well as Southampton artist Slam Daniels for implementing this design. You can read the full story here.

Markets and events

With the COVID-19 vaccination programme in full swing, we start to look toward the future and what Bedford Place may look like. We understand that traders in the areas have always had an ambition to host markets and events on the street so we are starting to make contact with the leading market providers in the region and are reviewing options.

If you want to comment on the Bedford Place/Carlton Place pilot scheme please get in touch with the Highways Legal Team by writing to them via email Traffic.Orders.Legal@southampton.gov.uk or send to
Highways Legal Team at Southampton City Council, Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY. You can find more information about the Experiment Traffic Regulation Order and what this means for Bedford Place here.