Updated - Bitterne Park roadworks: A Tale of Urban Reality

“It’s the hottest day of the year. The traffic is at a standstill. A tense looking motorist furiously abandons his car….” Actually that’s the blurb from the Michael Douglas film ‘Falling Down — A tale of Urban Reality’. 
As far as we know no one actually abandoned their car in Bitterne Park today, but as the temperature soared and queues built, the reality of “roadworks until October” began to hit home.

Bullar Road is currently closed. If you want to drive up Cobbett Road you’ll probably have to queue at temporary lights at the top for some time. If you then turn left, you’ll hit more temporary lights as you head for Cobden Bridge (right next to the Tesco exit - using the store has never looked so hard). Thorold Road is still closed. The main Triangle lights have been turned off. Coming up Cobden Avenue you’ll find more temporary lights. And you can no longer drive along Manor Farm Road towards Cobden Bridge beyond Bond Road.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re heading over Cobden Bridge towards Portswood, you’ll find more of the same over there.

It’s all a bit confusing to say the least, and as one reader commented on bitternepark.info: “Not entirely sure how I'm actually going to be able to leave the place tomorrow morning in order to get to work!”

Our tip: leave very early.

What are they actually doing?
The council will be “rekerbing” and “footway resurfacing” in Cobden Avenue, from the junction of Whitworth Crescent to Bullar Road on both sides. Work will include relaying kerbs, the reconstruction of footways, the “realignment” of the junctions at St Catherines Road and Bullar Road, and creating a pedestrian island in Cobden Avenue, between Tesco and Bullar Road. This will not be a new “pedestrian crossing”, like a pelican, that actually stops the traffic, the council has confirmed.

In a letter addressed to residents in Cobden Avenue, St Catherine’s Road, Manor Farm Road, Nursery Road, Thorold Road, Bullar Road, Whitworth Crescent and Bond Road, the council says that the work will be divided into three ‘phases’ to “reduce disruption to traffic”.

Bullar Road (except for Phase 3 — see below), and Thorold Road will be closed throughout the works. Diversions will be via Cobbett Road/Cobden Avenue and Dimond Hill /Bond Road.

Phase 1
Existing traffic lights have been turned off at Cobden Bridge and Bullar Road.
Manor Farm Road south bound at Bond Road has been closed. The diversion is via Nursery Road, St Catherine’s Road and Cobden Avenue, with temporary three-way lights at the junction of St Catherine’s Road and Cobden Avenue, and at the junction of Cobbett Road and Cobden Avenue. Right turns out of Whitworth Crescent are prohibited.

Phase 2
The second phase of the work will see the Cobden Bridge traffic lights switched back on and Manor Farm Road reopened, but St Catherine’s Road will close at the junction with Cobden Avenue. The diversion will be via Nursery Road, Manor Farm Road and Cobden Avenue, with the temporary lights at Cobden Avenue remaining in place.

Phase 3
Bullar Road will reopen, and temporary lights will be put at the Cobden Avenue junction, but the right turn into Bullar Road from Cobden Avenue will be prohibited, and St Catherines Road will remain closed.

The council says if work goes according to plan it could all be over in 17 weeks. The first phase is expected to last around 8-9 weeks. Access for pedestrians should not be affected.

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