SIR — In your article last week on the Andover Road closure, you gave a phone number at the end of the article for people to contact Network Rail to voice concerns about the road closures.
I rang this number to be informed that Network Rail have no jurisdiction over the roads and when they request a closure it is the councils who grant the closure and the Highways Agency who plan the diversions and traffic flow.
Since the start of the works in St Cross, routes heading south have been in gridlock at peak times. There has been no effort to increase capacity at crucial points.
Garnier Road is a nightmare because livid drivers coming off the motorway trying to get in to Winchester via Bar End drive like maniacs around the roundabout making it very difficult to keep traffic flowing.
The loop round from the town’s lower roundabout feeding people to the motorway is frequently blocked as far up as the Sainsbury roundabout.
The Romsey Road and Stanmore Lane are at a standstill, and Stanmore residents are having to cope with irate drivers zigzagging their way through looking for short cuts.
The councils are here to serve the residents of Winchester. They should never have allowed a major road closure to start at the beginning of a school term (if they started at the beginning of the summer holidays two thirds of the work would have been completed with less traffic on the roads), they should have waited for the park and ride to open, and they should have insisted Network Rail build a temporary bridge or paid to reopen Five Bridges Road.
Why can’t they open the motorway hard shoulder for the third of a mile from the Twyford lights to the Bar End turn off?
It is not good enough for the councils and Highway Agency to be so complacent about Winchester residents, and they should be very concerned about the damage it will be doing to the shops and businesses of Winchester.
Pip Billington, Kingsgate Road, Winchester.