SCF Home About Join Volunteer Issues news contact

Lovers’ Walk 2020

In Feb 2020, Southampton City Council submitted a planning application to widen Lovers’ Walk, the pathway which runs down the eastern side of The Common. The application can be viewed on the Council’s planning portal, by searching for reference 20/00255/FUL. As of the end of 2020, this application still had not been determined, well beyond its due decision date.

 This application followed on from a controversial application submitted in 2017 ( 17/00703/FUL) which was ultimately withdrawn in the face of significant opposition, including from SCF. More

As with the 2017 application, the stated aim was to make the route more suitable for cyclists and reduce the risk of cyclist/pedestrian conflicts at busy times but with reduced width requirements and alternative surfacing.

Since the 2017 application, SCF had worked alongside Council and the University to try to find an acceptable solution to what was an undoubted problem, had instigated a green travel and safety working group which had issued a report, had held a public workshop on green travel issues  and had undertaken its own online and on-the-ground surveys of path use to inform the debate. More


SCF management submission to the 2020 planning application

Southampton Common Commuter Survey 2019. The first survey of commuter views about The Common. It attracted 621 respondents.

A survey of the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists at key locations on The Common (Q1 2019) to provide quantitative information about traffic volumes, directions and densities.

Green Travel and Safety Working Group Report


Green Travel Workshop (April 2019) Meeting Report - held to discuss the results of the above evidence-gathering and research.

Copyright © Southampton Common Forum - 2021

Copyright © Southampton Common Forum - 2021

With the extra information available and a modified proposal, the SCF Management Committee gave its qualified support to the new application (view submission). There were still outstanding technical and route issues which we considered needed addressing, as well as the failure to include lighting on the southern section of the path, which was part of the reason for us setting up an expert working group on bats and helping run a scientific research project with the University of Southampton over the summer of 2019 to assess whether path lighting had an effect on The Common’s bats. More