Queries about Southampton City Centre road network, c1950 onwards.

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Peter350
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Queries about Southampton City Centre road network, c1950 onwards.

Post by Peter350 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 17:15

Since moving to Southampton, I’ve been looking at some old maps of the area and am really intrigued to find that the road network has changed drastically more than I thought in the past 50 years. The most obvious change came as a result of the West Quay shopping centre, which lead to the severing of Western Esplanade, although I have noticed lots of other differences which I never knew about before and would be grateful if you could answer my queries about them.

The pre-2000s layout of Portland Terrace and Castle Way does not appear on the OS Seventh Series layer on SABRE maps. Instead, Bargate Street appears to lead straight into Western Esplanade while a series of residential looking roads exist to the north and south, where Portland Terrace and Castle Way are now. Does anyone know the history behind this?

On a map of Southampton from around 2000 - 2002 which I own, Above Bar Street is shown as restricted access between Civic Centre Road/New Road and Hanover Buildings. It however does not distinguish which sections are pedestrianised or open to buses/cycles/taxis. The section south of Bargate is still shown as open to all traffic so was this map published before High Street/Above Bar Street was pedestrianised?

When were the A-roads diverted away from Above Bar Street and onto the current ring road around the city centre? Also, were all of these roads upgraded from narrow streets?

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Ritchie333
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Re: Queries about Southampton City Centre road network, c1950 onwards.

Post by Ritchie333 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 19:27

I used to live in Southampton from 1992 to 2005, though I spent most of my time in the Talking Heads (now closed :( ) or the Hobbit, and didn't go to the city centre very much.

The houses around what is now West Quay were built for the Pirelli Cable Works, a huge operation west of the City Centre. The works closed in 1990 and the houses were demolished - the whole area sat derelict for about ten years before the shopping centre was built.

The diversion of main roads around the ring road and via Six Dials happened in the 1970s. I should know the date but I can't remember what it was or when to find it. Above Bar Street would have been pedestrianised not long after that, though the closing off of Bargate is relatively new; when I lived there you could drive up the High Street, go west of Bargate, then turn right to Hanover Buildings by the MacDonalds on Above Bar (assuming that's still there!)
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Paul7755
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Re: Queries about Southampton City Centre road network, c1950 onwards.

Post by Paul7755 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 22:20

Where Bargate St and Portland Terrace now meet used to be at a lower level, with a gradual slope down to the level of Western Esplanade outside the Pirelli factory. I don’t think that’s so obvious from maps or street plans.

Old photographs are a useful resource, if you search online for images of Southampton’s Arundel Tower there should be some pics of an old pub built round the foot of the tower, its address was 22 Bargate St. Some other pics date from before the reclamation for the docks, when the foreshore ran along there.

Paul

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Peter350
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Re: Queries about Southampton City Centre road network, c1950 onwards.

Post by Peter350 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 23:20

Ritchie333 wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 19:27
I used to live in Southampton from 1992 to 2005, though I spent most of my time in the Talking Heads (now closed :( ) or the Hobbit, and didn't go to the city centre very much.

The houses around what is now West Quay were built for the Pirelli Cable Works, a huge operation west of the City Centre. The works closed in 1990 and the houses were demolished - the whole area sat derelict for about ten years before the shopping centre was built.

The diversion of main roads around the ring road and via Six Dials happened in the 1970s. I should know the date but I can't remember what it was or when to find it. Above Bar Street would have been pedestrianised not long after that, though the closing off of Bargate is relatively new; when I lived there you could drive up the High Street, go west of Bargate, then turn right to Hanover Buildings by the MacDonalds on Above Bar (assuming that's still there!)
The McDonald’s no longer exists, although I don’t remember there ever being one there since I started visiting the city regularly in 2009. In case you’re not already aware, the buildings on the corner of Hanover Buildings/High Street, including the former Bargate Centre have been demolished as the area is currently undergoing a massive redevelopment.

I’ve done some more research and found out that the southern end of Portland Terrace, Castle Way, Briton Street (western end) and Queensway were purpose built in the 1950s/60s to provide an inner relief road. I would have never known that was it not for the internet, those roads look just like average city streets to me, and I would have thought Western Esplanade acted as a bypass back then! Were these roads ever classified and signed as part of the Southampton ring road?

http://sotonopedia.wikidot.com/page-browse:castle-way

http://sotonopedia.wikidot.com/page-browse:queen-s-way

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Re: Queries about Southampton City Centre road network, c1950 onwards.

Post by KeithW » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:03

The old maps web site has OS Plans from 1948 to 1999 which show Southampton has changed over the years, to get full benefit you would need to subscribe but the views on the free use part will show you what you need to know.

https://www.old-maps.co.uk/#/Map/442500 ... /12/100954

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