Week 2: Movement Working Group

Chesil Street Movement Working Group Week 2 One Great Win

Each week we are asking one member from each Working Group to share what they discussed at each meeting and plan to do for the next session. Here is the second Movement Working Group overview:

The Movement Working Group was well represented at our meeting this week. We covered many of the discussion points raised through the group email communications during the week. The group has a strong green focus and the cycling community are well represented but we recognise the need to consider the needs of all road users and are keen for their views to be included.

The bottom end (the south east) of Romsey Road and the Durngate Place (by the junction of North Walls and Union Street) were identified as some of the key crossing places in the city and the speed/volume of traffic here makes crossing the road safely difficult. These routes are important as they are necessary for many Winchester residents to access to the hospital and the leisure centre.

What can we do to make this easier for people?

We also discussed how the narrow pavements in these areas cause additional problems for pedestrians, particularly those with disabilities and/or small children.

Contraflow-cycle lanes running north to south through St Peters Street, Parchment Street and Upper Brook Street were suggested as ideas that will provide improved access without significant investment or major change. The group was keen to celebrate the recent pedestrianisation of Great Minster Street. 

Making bold changes and maintaining public support

Our other main area of conversation was on how to reduce traffic in the city centre, rather than simply find ways to live with the current high levels of traffic, and what techniques we can employ to overcome previous obstacles to change. We considered that by making it harder to drive certain routes could become a reason for people to leave the car at home and switch modes of travel, reducing traffic levels. But this may be met by some local resistance. There is a careful balance to be struck between making bold changes while maintaining local public support. 

We agreed that a “car free day” to test these ideas would be a good starting point but that there are some highly influential stakeholders within the city that may object, and we want to find solutions that they will support too. So one idea was a shift of focus away from using the “car free day” name and title, towards a day that celebrates Winchester’s heritage and architecture. This event may include making certain streets car-free for a day to allow people to better appreciate the quality of the city’s fabulous buildings. 

Streets that could benefit from this temporary treatment include Upper High Street, Jewry Street, Hyde Street, Chesil Street, Southgate Street and City Bridge. In west Dorset, “architectural heritage week” includes a car-free day in Dorchester giving people the space, time, and tranquillity to appreciate the buildings around them. Is this a useful model to be applied to Winchester? What do you think?

Share your views on what you might like to see for Winchester in the comments box below and stay tuned for the next update from the Movement Working Group next week! Don’t forget you can also join the conversation on social media, you can find us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


  1. Paul Smith

    As an enthusiastic cyclist I really don’t like the idea of increased pedestrianisation of the city centre. Cycling among pedestrians is actively dangerous to both pedestrian and cyclist. I am the recipient of a broken shoulder when a pedestrian veered in front of me without looking, and I sought (successfully) to avoid them but my front wheel slipped on a slippery surface and I fell and 3 broken bones. It was also a very low speed thing, I was not much more than walking speed at the time. I have therefore avoided all pedestrian/cycle shared spaces since. The roads mentioned above are also all important access/arterial roads used by cyclists, especially those that live in the centre of town, as I do. Much though I don’t like the congestion in Winchester city centre, I prefer a pedestrian free cycling space, even if it means sharing with cars/lorries/buses/etc.

    • Les Burwood

      Roads shared among pedestrians and cycles are very dangerous for both pedestrians and cyclists. Not a good idea at all. People simply aren’t careful and alert enough. Don’t do it!

  2. Paul Smith

    Second comment is the prevalence of buses and, to an extent, delivery vehicles. I really like the way that the buses were diverted out of the high street. However, most of the streets you mention are bus routes and so unless a model is found to avoid all those roads from the bus station, you’re again going to have significant traffic on them, limiting their utility as a pedestrianised zone. The same applies to delivery vehicles supplying the retailers on those saidsame streets.

  3. Rich Turner

    I think a car-free day is a bit of a gimmick. Far better to work towards a gradual reduction in motor traffic by a series of measures, such as fare reductions on buses, reducing sections of the one way to single lane with passing places and encouraging cycling.

  4. Peter Innes

    Being over 80, but not disabled, I cannot walk long distances and need my car to get to Winchester centre. Closing roads leads to more congestion, slower speeds, more pollution. A negative idea. The measures taken so far to make some roads narrower are irrelevant as pedestrian numbers in those locations are not large. Disease control would be improved by compulsory wearing of face masks, as 2m social disatncing in moving situations is unachievable.

    • Les Burwood

      I agree with this. Closing roads is not good for the silent majority who choose to use cars, often out of necessity. Privileging cyclists is being done for a minority at the expense of a considerable minority. It is a very inefficient use of narrow road space, especially if it were to be done on major feeder roads into the city centre, where cyclists inevitable cause long tailbacks when buses and other vehicles cannot pass by easily, especially on hills. Cycling is ultimately a minority pursuit and simply not the choice of the vast majority, let alone those who are disabled and in ill-health.



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