Using feedback from residents and extensive evidence gathering, Hampshire County Council, together with Winchester City Council, is now looking at plans that include creating more park and ride provision across the city, improved and enhanced walking and cycling infrastructure and reconfiguring the city centre to prioritise bus, pedestrian and cycle traffic and reduce car use.
Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “Now the Winchester Movement Strategy
has been adopted, we have been working with colleagues at Winchester City Council and partner organisations to identify priorities, based on feedback from the public and businesses, on how we can reduce traffic congestion in the City Centre, facilitate cycling, encourage walking and improve air quality.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the changing travel patterns we were already beginning to see, and the Movement Strategy anticipated these developments. With more people already cycling and walking, this is a critical time for us to make changes for the future as the Movement Strategy starts to be implemented alongside Hampshire entering into a stabilisation phase from the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re working with colleagues at Winchester City Council every step of the way to ensure an excellent quality of life for those in the community.”
Plans will now be further developed with a view to submitting businesses cases to secure national funding, as and when it becomes available.
Projects prioritised for further development include:
• Extending the current park and ride provision at Bar End to provide 300 additional spaces (including electric vehicle charging) and (subject to funding) further extensions to meet projected demand;
• The development of nine cycle routes and 13 walking routes across the city to improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians, particularly to and from the railway station, the University, Romsey Road, North Walls and the city centre;
• Better coordinated freight delivery to reduce congestion and delays in the city centre;
• Options to pedestrianise the Upper High Street, reduce St. George’s Street to a single lane, North Walls to operate as one-way (single lane) allowing pedestrian and cycle route enhancements, Friarsgate, Union Street and Eastgate Street to operate as two-way streets as well as many other preferred scenarios;
• Working with bus operators and Winchester City Council to look to increase park and ride bus frequency and expand bus routes across the city where demand is highest.
Cllr Martin Tod from Winchester City Council said: “The City Council is keen to move ahead with the Movement Strategy and deliver tangible improvements soon. It’s an essential part of improving air quality and giving people better options to access our city. We are already working on additional park and ride spaces at Bar End and are looking carefully at what funding and support the Council can provide in order to make change faster in line with the Movement Strategy objectives. This is a shared project and we look forward to continuing to work with the County Council to deliver real improvements in the City and in access to and from it from the rest of the District. We’ve worked very closely together on the initial pop up transport recovery measures in the city and will continue to develop further measures to make our city safe and pleasant to visit and use during recovery from COVID-19, but are also consistent with our long-term plans for the Movement Strategy.”
Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council adopted the City of Winchester Movement Strategy last year. It sets out an agreed vision and long-term priorities for travel and transport improvements in Winchester over the next 20-30 years.