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 third Movement Working Group overview:
Sharing space. What if all movement – buses, cars, cyclists, pedestrians – can share certain routes through our city, but in a different way?
It’s been done before elsewhere – successfully. We discussed the extraordinary scheme in Poynton, Cheshire, designed by Hamilton Baillie Associates. A busy road junction now has no traffic lights, has been reduced to one lane, pavements have been widened and kerbs removed. It’s worked. It’s regenerated the town centre; empty shop units are now full; pedestrians can cross wherever they want; there have been no accidents and, remarkably, journey times for the considerable through-traffic have improved. So has air quality.
How can this relate to Winchester?
The penultimate online meeting of the Movement Group discussed this scheme and others where, because of the uncertainty presented to car users, conflict and tension with other road users is reduced. Can we implement this in Jewry and St George’s Street or The Broadway, for example?
Lockdown in Winchester has created, inadvertently, some “pop-up” traffic changes. Changes, introduced for social-distancing reasons, which have had an impact on traffic flow; it’s slowed on North Walls and is greatly reduced on Hyde Street. It’s been an interesting experiment but it’s divided opinion; wonderful if you live on Hyde Street where you’re now enjoying the peace and quiet – but not if your car journey involves an increased loop to get from A to B.
Implementation without explanation.
These “pop-ups” are not sightly, too. Red and white plastic barriers create a negative reaction – can we try this in an attractive, informal way? Covid has presented an opportunity and this moment must be grasped.
We left with our satchels and homework for next week – but with an easy commute (unlike the school kids who traverse our city). What, where, who, when and – most importantly – how. How can we do this, how can we bring residents with us, business with us, authorities with us; and how can this be done in an holistic, home-grown, way? Salisbury’s doing it – come on Winchester!
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 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram