Hampshire County Council
Winchester Movement and Access Plan
23 October 2002
Pedestrian Attitude Study
Report of the County Surveyor and Director of
Contact: Nick Richardson, ext 5429
1.1 A study was undertaken in early 2002 to obtain attitudinal information regarding walking in Winchester as part of the Winchester Movement and Access Plan (WMAP). This established the reasons why people choose or not to make journeys on foot and the improvements that could be made to encourage walking. The study indicated that, while there were high satisfaction ratings for some routes and areas, improvements could be made such as measures to reduce traffic speeds, provision of more facilities, such as seating and lighting, and improving personal security. A list of improvement schemes was put forward for consideration.
2. Outline of Study
2.1 The study sought to establish where people do and do not walk in Winchester, the main reasons behind mode choice and routeing decisions, and the type of changes that people would like to see to improve the pedestrian environment and encourage more walking. This type of attitude study provides information to support data about how journeys are made and will be used to develop further the programme of planned improvements for pedestrians in the WMAP area.
2.2 The study involved different types of data collection:
(i) an audit of existing pedestrian facilities;
(ii) a workshop with representatives of relevant organisations and groups and two focus groups involving members of the public; and
(iii) face-to-face interviews with pedestrians at key locations.
2.3 An important aspect of the fieldwork was to achieve good coverage of residents, workers, visitors and tourists to reflect the pedestrian population. Within these groups, the survey included all types of people: men, women, young people, older people and those with mobility impairments. In addition to the views expressed through the workshop and focus group sessions, 341 interviews were conducted, representing a robust sample of views. Qualitative research and interviews were undertaken in February 2002, a `neutral' period, and interviews took place on main radial routes into the city centre.
3. Existing Provision for Pedestrians
3.1 The audit information highlighted some major discrepancies in the levels and quality of provision for walking, which were also apparent from the qualitative and quantitative research. One major contrast is between High Street, an attractive pedestrian environment, and St George's Street where traffic is intrusive. On the radial routes beyond the central core, topography, crossing points, footway width and traffic levels vary and deficiencies were highlighted. The most frequently mentioned issue in the qualitative research was the volume of traffic in the city centre. There was a perception from the discussion groups that priority is given to motorists rather than pedestrians. This was supported by criticism about delivery vehicles in pedestrian areas, conflicts from the use of the lower part of High Street by buses and taxis, and lack of enforcement of restrictions.
3.2 The view was expressed that people were intimidated by traffic speeds and volumes, particularly in North Walls. People with impaired mobility were disadvantaged by limited space, access to car parks and the railway station, lack of dropped kerbs and the use by buses and taxis of the lower High Street area. Generally however, streets and pedestrianised areas are considered to be attractive and safe.
3.3 Issues arising from key walking routes are as follows:
(i) Romsey Road - limited footway width, limited crossing points, lack of facilities on adjacent routes, eg Clifton Terrace;
(ii) Sussex Street (near subway) - people generally find this route attractive (unless they have come from Stockbridge Road) and signing is good;
(iii) City Road - personal security was scored highly, mainly due to the openness of the street, but signing could be improved;
(iv) Middle Brook Street - this provides an important cross-city link offering relatively good pedestrian facilities, although litter was perceived to be a problem;
(v) Jewry Street - sense of security and attractiveness were considered to be particularly good and extension of this type of environment towards City Road would be supported;
(vi) Water Lane - while the route is considered to be attractive, the lack of a crossing of North Walls in the vicinity of the fire station was considered to be a problem;
(vii) Chesil Street - narrow footways led to a perceived risk of accidents (addressed by the Chesil Street improvement scheme), but City Bridge was a particular problem for respondents;
(viii) Southgate Street - personal security ranked highest and the route is considered to be attractive, although St James Lane attracted criticism for surfacing; and
(ix) Railway Station - personal security is rated highly: however there were perceived to be problems accessing the station from Stockbridge Road (addressed by the Station Interchange scheme).
4. Behavioural Patterns and Attitudes to Walking
4.1 A total of 56% of respondents were female; 26% of all respondents and 56% of female respondents had some form of encumbrance, most commonly a baby buggy or pram. The most frequently cited reasons for visiting Winchester were shopping (31%) and work/employer's business (22%).
4.2 The main reasons influencing the decision to walk included:
(i) lack of access to a car;
(ii) avoiding traffic congestion;
(iii) avoiding cost and difficulty associated with parking in the centre;
(iv) journey time advantage over the bus for short journeys;
(vi) leisure; and
4.3 The typical distance walked varied greatly between participants and there was no clear distinction between age and distance. However, older people tend to have more time available and were willing to walk further. There was a tendency for people who lived in the city centre to walk more (longer distances and more often) than those living on the outskirts.
4.4 One of the key deterrents to walking was the risk of incidents, either road accidents during daytime or personal security after dark. The most frequently mentioned destination to which participants would not walk was the leisure centre in Gordon Road, largely because of the perceived dangers of crossing North Walls. The weather was an important consideration, particularly considering identified locations where puddles form. Journey purpose was also an influence, particularly in relation to appointments and collecting children from school, mainly as a result of people being busy and unable to find sufficient time to walk. Other deterrents included the convenience of driving, topography and a need to carry shopping.
4.5 Walking was felt to be unpleasant in some respects, including poor air quality resulting from vehicle emissions, graffiti and litter and an unattractive environment, notably the bus station.
5. Proposed Improvements
5.1 The study recommended a number of improvements on specific themes, including the following:
5.2 Development of the Clear Zone concept would reduce the perceived domination of traffic in the city centre in terms of traffic levels and speeds, risk of accidents, air quality, traffic intimidation and pedestrian crossings.
Improving access to public transport by pedestrians
5.3 The bus station as a pedestrian thoroughfare was strongly criticised in terms of lighting, litter, security, etc. However, proposals to redevelop the bus station include greatly improved pedestrian provision. It was felt that greater definition should be given to areas shared by pedestrians, buses and taxis (lower part of High Street, Middle Brook Street and St George's Street). The role of park and ride was supported in that greater use of the service could be made by tourists and shoppers, provided adequate capacity was available. Improvements within and to the railway station were also suggested.
5.4 A number of suggested general improvements emerged from the study, including the following:
(i) reduce traffic speeds in the city centre;
(ii) provide more seating, bins and better lighting in the city centre;
(iii) provide more trees and outdoor cafés in the city centre;
(iv) increase police presence (to enforce illegal cycling for example);
(v) provide cycle lanes on carriageways where possible and then physical barriers between those and pedestrian footways; and
(vi) provide more places for teenagers to reduce groups of youths congregating around certain areas, to improve pedestrian sense of security.
5.5 The majority of suggested improvements related to specific locations and could be included in an implementation programme (see attached appendix). While some of these are being implemented as part of other WMAP schemes, the remainder could be added to the current programme of works for implementation as resources permit.
6.1 The study of pedestrian attitudes in Winchester has provided useful information about the factors that influence people's decisions to walk or not to walk. A wide range of specific suggestions were made that can be incorporated into the implementation programme.
That the Executive Member for Environment be advised that a programme of improvements for pedestrians be undertaken in response to the findings of the study.
Section 100 D - Local Government Act 1972 - background papers
The following documents disclose facts or matters on which this report, or an important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in the preparation of this report.
NB the list excludes:
Documents which disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in the Act.
Atkins Highways and Transportation (June 2002) Attitudes to Walking in Winchester
County Surveyor's Department
Proposed Improvements for Pedestrians
(* indicates implementation under way)
Short Term Improvements (0 to 2 years)
· Signing on Romsey Road/Clifton Terrace/St James' Terrace to railway station, Winchester College/city centre.
· Make provision for pedestrians at the City Road Junction, particularly for Andover Road to Sussex Street movements.*
· Provide repeater pedestrian signs for city centre via County Council offices.
· Consider pedestrians crossing Stockbridge Road to access the railway station.*
· Consider pedestrians crossing at St Paul's Bridge and improve lighting across Orams Arbour.
· Investigate a signed route between Winchester College and the city centre running parallel to St Cross Road with links from St Cross Road.
· Develop proposal for pedestrians at City Bridge.
· Create pedestrian-friendly east-west routes from Blue Ball Hill, Water Lane and Wales Street to destinations such as the railway station, County Council offices and the hospital (via Friarsgate-Silver Hill-Brook Street and via North Walls or Park Avenue-River Park Leisure Centre).
· Improve lighting from North Walls towards leisure centre.
· Widen footways in Romsey Road at the railway bridge.
· Investigate water pooling on Romsey Road by the hospital and Andover Road.
· Enforce prohibition of parking on footways on Easton Lane.
· Improve surfacing in High Street.
· Improve lighting, shelter, seating and litter collection at the bus station to improve the route for pedestrians.
· Manage commercial vehicle parking to concentrate deliveries at certain hours.
· Provide signing of the ramped access to the Jewry Street public library.
· Publicise the health benefits of walking and work with the Education Department to ensure that the issues are covered in the National Curriculum.
· Coordinate safer routes to schools, road safety training and school travel plans with the promotion of pedestrian improvements.
· Increase CCTV coverage and provide help points at the bus station, High Street and Market Street.
Medium term (2 to 5 years)
· Develop a walking route guide for use by residents or visitors recommending recognised routes to different parts of the city.
· Investigate lighting improvements at Orams Arbour and explore crossing facilities at Upper High Street.
· Consider improvements to the railway tunnel in Stockbridge Road, including repainting and improved lighting with improved signing for motorists to avoid blocking the tunnel.*
· Investigate the potential for an additional crossing of Jewry Street.
· Incorporate a pedestrian phase in the traffic signals at North Walls/Hyde Abbey Road.
· Improve crossing facilities in Upper High Street outside the post office.
· Introduce a crossing facility from Clifton Terrace to St James' Terrace across Romsey Road.
· Investigate the feasibility of a pedestrian crossing of North Walls near the fire station.
· Improve surfacing on Middle Brook Street.
· Improve lighting in Water Lane.
· Provide more toilets and widen footways in Chesil Street.
· Improve CCTV coverage at the bus station and High Street.
· Extend pedestrian walkway from taxi rank at railway station across top of Station Hill to reinforce pedestrian route to the city centre.*
· Provide coloured distinction to pedestrianised area (lower part of High Street, etc) to highlight to pedestrians the use of the road by buses.
· Consider full pedestrianisation of that section of High Street currently accessible by vehicles before 10 am and after 4 pm.
Long term (5 to 10 years)
· Clearly sign and promote route to city centre in the Pedestrian Route Guide as the recognised route to the city centre.
· Promote Middle Brook Street as a pedestrian route for cross-city journeys.
· Investigate improvements along North Walls or alternatively sign routes to discourage pedestrians from this route.
· Develop existing park and ride and new services.
· Reduce traffic flow on main radial routes and streets in the central area.
· Introduce more stringent city centre parking controls to relieve congestion in streets such as Parchment Street.
· Improve lighting in Outer Cathedral Close.
· Consider footway widening in St Cross (Cripstead Lane to Lower Stanmore Lane).
· Improve signing and/or enforcement against illegal traffic in pedestrianised area and consider the use of a bus gate, possibly using rising bollards.
· Consider extending the pedestrian area to include The Square and North Walls.
· Consider a suitable location for 'touring coach drop-off' with a pleasant walk into the city (The Broadway is congested and Worthy Lane is not a pleasant routes for pedestrians).