Ideas by Transport for the South East to transform infrastructure across the South Coast have been launched through a new document – which includes a new underground line to create a more direct route between Southampton and Portsmouth.

Plans totalling around £45bn are included within the document – with a key piece being the new line between Southampton and Netley, which could allow a more direct and quicker route to neighbouring Portsmouth.

A public consultation is being launched to review the projects, which also include adding an additional platform at Portsmouth Harbour and increasing capacity on the Botley line.

The document says: “A longer term package of interventions is needed to unlock significant capacity and potentially shorter journey times between Southampton and Portsmouth city centres. This could include developing an entirely new rail link (most likely underground) between Southampton Central and the Netley line.”

Currently it takes between 40-60 minutes to travel between the cities at present, but a new line would mean services every 15-minutes with reduced travel times to 30-35 minutes.

Cllr Eamonn Keogh, Cabinet Member for Transport and District Regeneration at Southampton City Council: “Investing in these plans would significantly reduce the air pollution caused by private cars, create thousands of new jobs that would enhance the local economy, and provide much easier and cleaner ways to travel for years to come.”