SUPPORT local businesses.

That was the word of Winchester City councillors at this week’s traffic and parking committee (March 5).

The proposed Traffic Regulation Order for parking and waiting restrictions to be introduced in Bull Drove, Garnier Road, its car park, and Five Bridges Road was discussed.

It would see new restrictions on junctions and accesses on Five Bridges Road leaving 120 metres of unrestricted parking, restraints along Garnier Road into Bull Drove and extending along to the A31 Bar End roundabout with the introduction of four hour bays, and a four hour time limit on the Garnier Road car park.

It was decided that all would be implemented except the four hour restrictions on Garnier Road’s car park.

It became clear that the recreational car park, which is often used by dog walkers, fisherman and visitors to the Hockley Viaduct walking and cycle path, is increasingly being used for commuter parking.

However, local businessman Julian Isaacson, managing director of the Remarkable Group which operates from The Pump House on Garnier Road, objected to the plans which would see several of his staff forced to use an unsafe and unlit footpath to and from work, instead of the car park.

He said: “We have 72 staff, offices in London and we are opening an office in Manchester next month. We are a thriving business in Winchester, but I have a duty of safety and care to my employees.

“We do not let our staff park on the road, and I would be keen to find a way of working with the council to find somewhere for our people to park.

“It seems the odds are against us, and the last thing we want to do is leave Winchester, but it is an option that we would have to consider given these challenges.”

Cllr Victoria Weston, portfolio holder for built environment, chaired the meeting. She said: “It’s very important to have these discussions and keep businesses here in Winchester in the dialogue. The last thing we would want to do is ostracize them.”

The issue has been deferred for discussion at the next meeting on April 29.