Daily Echo investigation sees 80 drivers ignoring semi-pedestrianised road rules in Winchester

A car driver ignore the pedestrianised road rules in St George's Street, Winchester.

Drivers flouting city road ban for 20 years

First published in News
Last updated

Dozens of cars a day are illegally driving through a pedestrianised stretch of road in the heart of a city centre – 20 years after they were banned from the road.

A Daily Echo investigation has found drivers are continuing to flout the law and are using parts of Winchester city centre as a rat run, despite it being designated purely for buses, taxis and local access.

A new survey has found that more than 80 cars and vans used the busy route along the lower High Street, Middle Brook Street and St George’s Street in just eight hours.

The area is meant only for buses, taxis and deliveries, yet our survey, which was carried out on a Wednesday and Thursday, recorded 39 cars and 41 vans illegally using the road.

Previous attempts to thwart the practice were made eight years ago – 15 years after the traffic ban was originally introduced at the time The Brooks shopping centre was built – but fell on deaf ears.

A similar survey carried out in 2006 found 290 vehicles a day were using the route around what is set to become the edge of the new Silver Hill development. That seven storey scheme will see new homes and shops on land behind the High Street.

As reported in the Daily Echo at that time, Hampshire County Council discussed the use of mobile CCTV cameras to clamp down on the illegal use, but the idea was dropped.

The now defunct Winchester Residents’ Association conducted previous surveys.

Its main campaigner, Maurice Charrett, said: “It is obvious standing at The Brooks how many cars and vans go through there from either Silver Hill or the High Street and it has not been resolved.

“When you think of the pollution levels of the number of unauthorised and authorised vehicles for what is a semi-pedestrianised area, it is a real problem.

“I have had several mothers saying they’re pushing their children to the city and there’s all these exhaust fumes coming out at the level of the push chairs.”

But this week, one driver who asked not to be named, said he was not even aware that the lane was meant for buses only – despite the signs located at the corner of Middle Brook Street and St George’s Street and on the High Street by Marks and Spencer.

The issue has sparked concern with many locals including Winchester Friends of the Earth who said it needs to be tackled.

A spokesman for the group, said: “I’m glad to see that someone’s doing the survey and it would be good to see the ban enforced.

“There are lots of issues in the town that could do with further traffic enforcement — too many cars go where they’re not supposed to and that’s quite common.”

When asked about enforcing the ban, Winchester City Council said that dealing with moving vehicles was a police matter.

In the past it has said the problem would be removed once the Silver Hill development is completed as buses will be re-routed along Friarsgate.

However, Stagecoach recently revealed they want to carry on using the Middle Brook Street and St George’s Street route meaning the issue could remain.

Hampshire police today said they would be looking at the information provided by the Daily Echo.

A spokesman said: “"Officers regularly patrol Winchester City Centre and if they see anyone using the Bus/Taxi Lane illegally they will take appropriate action.”

Comments (16)

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11:16am Wed 4 Jun 14

kiddynamite says...

They can do what they like in winchester, There posh init!
They can do what they like in winchester, There posh init! kiddynamite
  • Score: -14

11:30am Wed 4 Jun 14

wwozzer says...

“I have had several mothers saying they’re pushing their children to the city and there’s all these exhaust fumes coming out at the level of the push chairs.”

Oh perlease! What utter drivel. By all means enforce the law on these drivers but when you start spouting nonsense about exhaust fumes on one road that still allows filthy buses and taxis down it in a city rammed with traffic anyway you just look like a berk and do a great dis service to the people you represent.
“I have had several mothers saying they’re pushing their children to the city and there’s all these exhaust fumes coming out at the level of the push chairs.” Oh perlease! What utter drivel. By all means enforce the law on these drivers but when you start spouting nonsense about exhaust fumes on one road that still allows filthy buses and taxis down it in a city rammed with traffic anyway you just look like a berk and do a great dis service to the people you represent. wwozzer
  • Score: 39

11:46am Wed 4 Jun 14

bigfella777 says...

wwozzer wrote:
“I have had several mothers saying they’re pushing their children to the city and there’s all these exhaust fumes coming out at the level of the push chairs.”

Oh perlease! What utter drivel. By all means enforce the law on these drivers but when you start spouting nonsense about exhaust fumes on one road that still allows filthy buses and taxis down it in a city rammed with traffic anyway you just look like a berk and do a great dis service to the people you represent.
Its not nonsense at all
[quote][p][bold]wwozzer[/bold] wrote: “I have had several mothers saying they’re pushing their children to the city and there’s all these exhaust fumes coming out at the level of the push chairs.” Oh perlease! What utter drivel. By all means enforce the law on these drivers but when you start spouting nonsense about exhaust fumes on one road that still allows filthy buses and taxis down it in a city rammed with traffic anyway you just look like a berk and do a great dis service to the people you represent.[/p][/quote]Its not nonsense at all bigfella777
  • Score: -33

12:04pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Frank28 says...

I would have thought that Winchester City Council would have jumped at the opportunity of installing enforcement cameras at this potential cash cow!
I would have thought that Winchester City Council would have jumped at the opportunity of installing enforcement cameras at this potential cash cow! Frank28
  • Score: 14

12:20pm Wed 4 Jun 14

RomseyKeith says...

Rather than just moan about it, do something about it. Instal cameras and fine them.
A lot of car drivers (not all) today are impatient, inconsiderate, and act like 5 year-olds having to be first at any cost. Knock drivers like that down a notch by fining them. A camera system like that would soon pay for itself if these stats are accurate.
Rather than just moan about it, do something about it. Instal cameras and fine them. A lot of car drivers (not all) today are impatient, inconsiderate, and act like 5 year-olds having to be first at any cost. Knock drivers like that down a notch by fining them. A camera system like that would soon pay for itself if these stats are accurate. RomseyKeith
  • Score: 10

12:54pm Wed 4 Jun 14

ulrichvangobbel says...

What's wrong with cars driving down a road ? Ridiculous. Why can't we just park and drive anywhere like every city outside of the UK ? Instead of sending us round stupid routes and parking out of town to get stealth tax to subsidise government expenses.
What's wrong with cars driving down a road ? Ridiculous. Why can't we just park and drive anywhere like every city outside of the UK ? Instead of sending us round stupid routes and parking out of town to get stealth tax to subsidise government expenses. ulrichvangobbel
  • Score: -4

1:19pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Mr E says...

If Winchester want to reduce pollution, look at rigorously enforcing emissions regulations for Buses. I See far to many churning out clouds of toxic Disesel fumes.
If Winchester want to reduce pollution, look at rigorously enforcing emissions regulations for Buses. I See far to many churning out clouds of toxic Disesel fumes. Mr E
  • Score: 8

2:15pm Wed 4 Jun 14

derek james says...

the idiots in the councils don't realise that road closures just create more jams and pollution elsewhere, the same thing happens outside shirley school where wilton road is blocked off
the idiots in the councils don't realise that road closures just create more jams and pollution elsewhere, the same thing happens outside shirley school where wilton road is blocked off derek james
  • Score: 3

2:51pm Wed 4 Jun 14

winchester resident says...

How on earth could this be a rat run?? It would take ages to get through the pedestrians and buses...... more likely to be confused motorists.
I would say that every road in Winchester has a significant number of slightly lost drivers in it every day because we are a place that draws visitors.
This is also a problem that has a finite life due to the Silver Hill development.

Stop looking out of your windows, Echo staff, and get on with writing about real issues
How on earth could this be a rat run?? It would take ages to get through the pedestrians and buses...... more likely to be confused motorists. I would say that every road in Winchester has a significant number of slightly lost drivers in it every day because we are a place that draws visitors. This is also a problem that has a finite life due to the Silver Hill development. Stop looking out of your windows, Echo staff, and get on with writing about real issues winchester resident
  • Score: 5

4:58pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Hastagger says...

why not get the firm who have the cameras at Leisure world to put some there - could be a nice little earner all round!

#trend
#onlysolutionsnotpro
blems
#nodigity
#nodoubt
why not get the firm who have the cameras at Leisure world to put some there - could be a nice little earner all round! #trend #onlysolutionsnotpro blems #nodigity #nodoubt Hastagger
  • Score: -4

6:14pm Wed 4 Jun 14

downfader says...

derek james wrote:
the idiots in the councils don't realise that road closures just create more jams and pollution elsewhere, the same thing happens outside shirley school where wilton road is blocked off
That's a fantastic idea. In fact why don't we knock down peoples homes and build more roads...

...or we could accept that a majority of traffic is caused by unnecessary motoring. And add onto the fact that places like Winchester high street have been semi-pedestrianised for years. People should have learned to adapt as the signs are pretty clear.
[quote][p][bold]derek james[/bold] wrote: the idiots in the councils don't realise that road closures just create more jams and pollution elsewhere, the same thing happens outside shirley school where wilton road is blocked off[/p][/quote]That's a fantastic idea. In fact why don't we knock down peoples homes and build more roads... ...or we could accept that a majority of traffic is caused by unnecessary motoring. And add onto the fact that places like Winchester high street have been semi-pedestrianised for years. People should have learned to adapt as the signs are pretty clear. downfader
  • Score: -3

6:36pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Mary80 says...

ulrichvangobbel wrote:
What's wrong with cars driving down a road ? Ridiculous. Why can't we just park and drive anywhere like every city outside of the UK ? Instead of sending us round stupid routes and parking out of town to get stealth tax to subsidise government expenses.
Its a pedestrianized road which means cars arent ALLOWED down there as they could easily knock down a child
[quote][p][bold]ulrichvangobbel[/bold] wrote: What's wrong with cars driving down a road ? Ridiculous. Why can't we just park and drive anywhere like every city outside of the UK ? Instead of sending us round stupid routes and parking out of town to get stealth tax to subsidise government expenses.[/p][/quote]Its a pedestrianized road which means cars arent ALLOWED down there as they could easily knock down a child Mary80
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Torchie1 says...

Mary80 wrote:
ulrichvangobbel wrote:
What's wrong with cars driving down a road ? Ridiculous. Why can't we just park and drive anywhere like every city outside of the UK ? Instead of sending us round stupid routes and parking out of town to get stealth tax to subsidise government expenses.
Its a pedestrianized road which means cars arent ALLOWED down there as they could easily knock down a child
"designated purely for buses, taxis and local access. "........ pedestrians still can't assume that they can walk freely across the road without looking or interrupting the flow of their phone conversation.
[quote][p][bold]Mary80[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ulrichvangobbel[/bold] wrote: What's wrong with cars driving down a road ? Ridiculous. Why can't we just park and drive anywhere like every city outside of the UK ? Instead of sending us round stupid routes and parking out of town to get stealth tax to subsidise government expenses.[/p][/quote]Its a pedestrianized road which means cars arent ALLOWED down there as they could easily knock down a child[/p][/quote]"designated purely for buses, taxis and local access. "........ pedestrians still can't assume that they can walk freely across the road without looking or interrupting the flow of their phone conversation. Torchie1
  • Score: 7

9:27pm Wed 4 Jun 14

downfader says...

Torchie1 wrote:
Mary80 wrote:
ulrichvangobbel wrote:
What's wrong with cars driving down a road ? Ridiculous. Why can't we just park and drive anywhere like every city outside of the UK ? Instead of sending us round stupid routes and parking out of town to get stealth tax to subsidise government expenses.
Its a pedestrianized road which means cars arent ALLOWED down there as they could easily knock down a child
"designated purely for buses, taxis and local access. "........ pedestrians still can't assume that they can walk freely across the road without looking or interrupting the flow of their phone conversation.
No, the onus is on bus drivers and taxis, who arent as common as on the road due to route management to travel with care. Many visitors to the precinct are unaware of the motors as they're thinking about the shopping.

In reality the buses and cabs should probably now be redirected given the popularity of the city.
[quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mary80[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ulrichvangobbel[/bold] wrote: What's wrong with cars driving down a road ? Ridiculous. Why can't we just park and drive anywhere like every city outside of the UK ? Instead of sending us round stupid routes and parking out of town to get stealth tax to subsidise government expenses.[/p][/quote]Its a pedestrianized road which means cars arent ALLOWED down there as they could easily knock down a child[/p][/quote]"designated purely for buses, taxis and local access. "........ pedestrians still can't assume that they can walk freely across the road without looking or interrupting the flow of their phone conversation.[/p][/quote]No, the onus is on bus drivers and taxis, who arent as common as on the road due to route management to travel with care. Many visitors to the precinct are unaware of the motors as they're thinking about the shopping. In reality the buses and cabs should probably now be redirected given the popularity of the city. downfader
  • Score: 0

10:08am Thu 5 Jun 14

From the sidelines says...

When you have time to worry about the pollution from 80 cars a day, I can only assume you've fixed all the other problems.

Either that, or you are a fool.
When you have time to worry about the pollution from 80 cars a day, I can only assume you've fixed all the other problems. Either that, or you are a fool. From the sidelines
  • Score: 0

4:33pm Thu 5 Jun 14

downfader says...

From the sidelines wrote:
When you have time to worry about the pollution from 80 cars a day, I can only assume you've fixed all the other problems.

Either that, or you are a fool.
Only a fool would ignore pollution...

..unless you're willing to prove how harmless your exhaust is by having a toke? (for the idiots - DONT)
[quote][p][bold]From the sidelines[/bold] wrote: When you have time to worry about the pollution from 80 cars a day, I can only assume you've fixed all the other problems. Either that, or you are a fool.[/p][/quote]Only a fool would ignore pollution... ..unless you're willing to prove how harmless your exhaust is by having a toke? (for the idiots - DONT) downfader
  • Score: -1

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