Row over Winchester rat run rumbles on

Daily Echo: Row over Winchester rat run rumbles on Row over Winchester rat run rumbles on

A ROW over a rat run through one of Winchester's oldest streets continued last week.

Councillors debated traffic restrictions in Great Minster Street and The Square at the town forum on Wednesday (Jan 23).

The council is set to repave the road in a joint project with the county council that will cost around £300,000.

Vehicles are currently banned from entering the roads unless they are for business or residential access, including customers visiting the shops.

But residents of Symonds Street and St Swithun Street have criticised the restrictions after a county council traffic survey revealed the majority of drivers were using it as a short cut.

Peter Grant, St Swithun Street and Symonds Street Residents' Association chairman, told the meeting residents were fed up of constant traffic despite the ban.

He said: “We have approximately two cars per minute coming down the road throughout the day. These restrictions have been a complete waste of money and do not mean a thing.

“I have a map as far back as 1417 and the street layout of this area is almost the same as today. It was not designed for motorised traffic and all that goes with it, particularly large vehicles which scrape their way along the road.”

But Andy Hickman, head of access and infrastructure, said the council was unable to enforce the restrictions.

He said: “Some traffic orders we are able to enforce ourselves like parking restrictions but we cannot enforce moving traffic restrictions. That relies on the police but they have little resources to do that. We are not condoning people going through there illegally but we cannot do anything about it.”

Councillors proposed a number of solutions to the problem including erecting traffic lights with long delays in the road and pedestrianising the area from 10am-4pm.

Mr Hickman added: “If we make Market Lane open to two-way traffic then people will get slowed by lorries and it will make the rat run less attractive.”

But Cllr Robert Sanders, who represents St Michael ward, said the road was part of a bigger problem of transport between the west to east of the city and recommended leaving it as it is.

He said: “We keep looking at this in isolation and not in terms of the city as a whole. If you live in St Michael ward there are only two ways of getting from west to east and one is to come down St James Lane which is one of the most dangerous roads in the city.

“We made the wrong decision when we made the traffic prohibition. We have to preserve the status quo and that's the message coming from the majority of the people I represent.”

The recommendations will be put before a traffic committee which will review the restrictions next month.

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:02am Fri 25 Jan 13

wackyracer says...

Surprised HCC can afford to spend over £300,000 on repaving this area at a time when services for children and the elderly have been cut back. The residents are being snobbish and think they are entitled to use these roads only for themselves. Had these houses been owned by the council or a housing association then traffic would be allowed to use these roads. We live in a class based society and one can see HCC officials bending over backwards to grant favors to the middle classes. Look at Sleepers hill, a private road, see how Staple gardens has become one way and the road adjacent to the discovery center closed to cars.
Surprised HCC can afford to spend over £300,000 on repaving this area at a time when services for children and the elderly have been cut back. The residents are being snobbish and think they are entitled to use these roads only for themselves. Had these houses been owned by the council or a housing association then traffic would be allowed to use these roads. We live in a class based society and one can see HCC officials bending over backwards to grant favors to the middle classes. Look at Sleepers hill, a private road, see how Staple gardens has become one way and the road adjacent to the discovery center closed to cars. wackyracer
  • Score: 0

4:18pm Fri 25 Jan 13

winchester resident says...

Who decides whether a road is a rat run or just the best way between two points? The residents of a through route???
I don't think so.

If I lived in St Cross I'd have to use that route through the Square to get to the east of the city or spend ages queueing.

I agree "wackyracer" we live in a class based society.

A few people would gain (by their expensive houses becoming more expensive) if this route, which has hardly any traffic on it iin any case, is completely closed.

Come on let's close down Winchester completely and make it a dead town.
Who decides whether a road is a rat run or just the best way between two points? The residents of a through route??? I don't think so. If I lived in St Cross I'd have to use that route through the Square to get to the east of the city or spend ages queueing. I agree "wackyracer" we live in a class based society. A few people would gain (by their expensive houses becoming more expensive) if this route, which has hardly any traffic on it iin any case, is completely closed. Come on let's close down Winchester completely and make it a dead town. winchester resident
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Fri 25 Jan 13

iantait says...

I agree with winchester resident, it is absurd that the High Street isn't open to traffic and from where i live, when I am too ideal to walk into town I should be able to drive down the High Street as I could when I was a child (not me driving of course). The same is true of College Street and Five Bridges Road and it was very short sighted to turn the High Street above the Southgate Street one-way.
I have also noticed that when the schools are on holiday the roads are far freer of traffic so lets stop children being driven to school. Any other bright ideas?
I agree with winchester resident, it is absurd that the High Street isn't open to traffic and from where i live, when I am too ideal to walk into town I should be able to drive down the High Street as I could when I was a child (not me driving of course). The same is true of College Street and Five Bridges Road and it was very short sighted to turn the High Street above the Southgate Street one-way. I have also noticed that when the schools are on holiday the roads are far freer of traffic so lets stop children being driven to school. Any other bright ideas? iantait
  • Score: 0

6:33pm Fri 25 Jan 13

canonstreet says...

I think it's the council have got the balance just about right. They've treated the road to make it more pedestrian friendly, discouraged traffic to use it albeit local residents can use it as a route through the city. I fear some residents with vested commercial interests are pushing for more restriction. Why, because they think their hose values will rise. But they bought there and therefore they should not lobby for their own gain. This s what happened at parchment st. The town will suffer if they shut down the square to traffic.
I think it's the council have got the balance just about right. They've treated the road to make it more pedestrian friendly, discouraged traffic to use it albeit local residents can use it as a route through the city. I fear some residents with vested commercial interests are pushing for more restriction. Why, because they think their hose values will rise. But they bought there and therefore they should not lobby for their own gain. This s what happened at parchment st. The town will suffer if they shut down the square to traffic. canonstreet
  • Score: 0

8:47pm Fri 25 Jan 13

wackyracer says...

So far the consensus of opinion seems to be against the closing of these streets. Yes only some of the residents want it closed to through traffic because, as has been stated, they want a quiet area and to see house values increasing. The question is who are the council officials who gave the green light to this closure of streets?? Will he/she/they tell us who they are and their reasons for this decision?
So far the consensus of opinion seems to be against the closing of these streets. Yes only some of the residents want it closed to through traffic because, as has been stated, they want a quiet area and to see house values increasing. The question is who are the council officials who gave the green light to this closure of streets?? Will he/she/they tell us who they are and their reasons for this decision? wackyracer
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Sun 27 Jan 13

winchester resident says...

iantait wrote:
I agree with winchester resident, it is absurd that the High Street isn't open to traffic and from where i live, when I am too ideal to walk into town I should be able to drive down the High Street as I could when I was a child (not me driving of course). The same is true of College Street and Five Bridges Road and it was very short sighted to turn the High Street above the Southgate Street one-way.
I have also noticed that when the schools are on holiday the roads are far freer of traffic so lets stop children being driven to school. Any other bright ideas?
The fact that the High Street has been closed and College Street is not logically an argument for closing yet another route across town.
[quote][p][bold]iantait[/bold] wrote: I agree with winchester resident, it is absurd that the High Street isn't open to traffic and from where i live, when I am too ideal to walk into town I should be able to drive down the High Street as I could when I was a child (not me driving of course). The same is true of College Street and Five Bridges Road and it was very short sighted to turn the High Street above the Southgate Street one-way. I have also noticed that when the schools are on holiday the roads are far freer of traffic so lets stop children being driven to school. Any other bright ideas?[/p][/quote]The fact that the High Street has been closed and College Street is not logically an argument for closing yet another route across town. winchester resident
  • Score: 0

10:41am Mon 28 Jan 13

retiredoldgit says...

The current restriction on through traffic in Great Minster Street is unenforceable as anyone, if stopped, can always say that they were trying to park in the Square.

There are many examples of this in Winchester - like the restriction on traffic entering Chesil Street from Barfield Close in the mornings, or buses and taxis only past M&S/Sainsburys.

Those who plan our roads should note that if people can use a road they will and they shouldn't think they have solved a problem by just putting up a sign.
The current restriction on through traffic in Great Minster Street is unenforceable as anyone, if stopped, can always say that they were trying to park in the Square. There are many examples of this in Winchester - like the restriction on traffic entering Chesil Street from Barfield Close in the mornings, or buses and taxis only past M&S/Sainsburys. Those who plan our roads should note that if people can use a road they will and they shouldn't think they have solved a problem by just putting up a sign. retiredoldgit
  • Score: 0

11:01am Mon 28 Jan 13

wackyracer says...

Too many of Winchester's roads have been made 'private' over the years and only for the convenience of a select few residents. Why should these residents be awarded this privilege, as we all pay rates now irrespective of where we live. Winchester council does seem to favor people living in select large properties
Too many of Winchester's roads have been made 'private' over the years and only for the convenience of a select few residents. Why should these residents be awarded this privilege, as we all pay rates now irrespective of where we live. Winchester council does seem to favor people living in select large properties wackyracer
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Tue 29 Jan 13

jonone says...

Great comments that prove nothing more than how pathetically car dependent we have become. A boy being careless gets knocked down in the High Street and everyone is saying "get rid of the buses" Ban cars along similar streets and suddenly it is terribly unfair - struggling to see who the snobs are now!! How many people need to drive through Winchester really? I know how I could get from the north to the south without touching the centre and vice versa - takes a bit of wit and the willing to drive a bit further.
Great comments that prove nothing more than how pathetically car dependent we have become. A boy being careless gets knocked down in the High Street and everyone is saying "get rid of the buses" Ban cars along similar streets and suddenly it is terribly unfair - struggling to see who the snobs are now!! How many people need to drive through Winchester really? I know how I could get from the north to the south without touching the centre and vice versa - takes a bit of wit and the willing to drive a bit further. jonone
  • Score: 0

5:37pm Tue 29 Jan 13

winchester resident says...

jonone wrote:
Great comments that prove nothing more than how pathetically car dependent we have become. A boy being careless gets knocked down in the High Street and everyone is saying "get rid of the buses" Ban cars along similar streets and suddenly it is terribly unfair - struggling to see who the snobs are now!! How many people need to drive through Winchester really? I know how I could get from the north to the south without touching the centre and vice versa - takes a bit of wit and the willing to drive a bit further.
That's the point: north to south and vice versa is easy, west to east and vice versa is not.....and the point is that people who already live in Winchester sometimes need to drive.

Before people were dependent on cars they were dependent on horse drawn cabs

You're saying "why drive?" and also "drive a bit further".......my head's spinning.....or is it just a muddled post?
[quote][p][bold]jonone[/bold] wrote: Great comments that prove nothing more than how pathetically car dependent we have become. A boy being careless gets knocked down in the High Street and everyone is saying "get rid of the buses" Ban cars along similar streets and suddenly it is terribly unfair - struggling to see who the snobs are now!! How many people need to drive through Winchester really? I know how I could get from the north to the south without touching the centre and vice versa - takes a bit of wit and the willing to drive a bit further.[/p][/quote]That's the point: north to south and vice versa is easy, west to east and vice versa is not.....and the point is that people who already live in Winchester sometimes need to drive. Before people were dependent on cars they were dependent on horse drawn cabs You're saying "why drive?" and also "drive a bit further".......my head's spinning.....or is it just a muddled post? winchester resident
  • Score: 0

4:11pm Wed 30 Jan 13

800Jimbo says...

winchester resident wrote:
jonone wrote:
Great comments that prove nothing more than how pathetically car dependent we have become. A boy being careless gets knocked down in the High Street and everyone is saying "get rid of the buses" Ban cars along similar streets and suddenly it is terribly unfair - struggling to see who the snobs are now!! How many people need to drive through Winchester really? I know how I could get from the north to the south without touching the centre and vice versa - takes a bit of wit and the willing to drive a bit further.
That's the point: north to south and vice versa is easy, west to east and vice versa is not.....and the point is that people who already live in Winchester sometimes need to drive.

Before people were dependent on cars they were dependent on horse drawn cabs

You're saying "why drive?" and also "drive a bit further".......my head's spinning.....or is it just a muddled post?
The only relatively easy route crossing Winchester I can think of is South to North via Jewry St - all other directions are a right bugger which entail going round the one way system. I personally don't think we should be viewing shortcuts through narrow streets as any solution to a traffic problem, not least because arguments just descend to parochial levels where people oppose or support specific proposals based on their own vested interest rather than any regard for a wider good.
[quote][p][bold]winchester resident[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jonone[/bold] wrote: Great comments that prove nothing more than how pathetically car dependent we have become. A boy being careless gets knocked down in the High Street and everyone is saying "get rid of the buses" Ban cars along similar streets and suddenly it is terribly unfair - struggling to see who the snobs are now!! How many people need to drive through Winchester really? I know how I could get from the north to the south without touching the centre and vice versa - takes a bit of wit and the willing to drive a bit further.[/p][/quote]That's the point: north to south and vice versa is easy, west to east and vice versa is not.....and the point is that people who already live in Winchester sometimes need to drive. Before people were dependent on cars they were dependent on horse drawn cabs You're saying "why drive?" and also "drive a bit further".......my head's spinning.....or is it just a muddled post?[/p][/quote]The only relatively easy route crossing Winchester I can think of is South to North via Jewry St - all other directions are a right bugger which entail going round the one way system. I personally don't think we should be viewing shortcuts through narrow streets as any solution to a traffic problem, not least because arguments just descend to parochial levels where people oppose or support specific proposals based on their own vested interest rather than any regard for a wider good. 800Jimbo
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree