A KEY problem in a Winchester suburb is set to be tackled, the Town Forum heard.

The city council is drawing up a residents-only parking scheme for Winnall that should reduce the problem of commuter parking on the residential roads.

A traffic regulation order is being prepared and is due to be implemented in May.

Removing the vehicles should speed up bus times and their reliability through the estate, a key factor restricting access through the estate.

Cllr Dominic Hiscock said: “Residents-only parking will hopefully allow buses to move more easily through the estate and give a better service to people going to Winnall and Tesco.”

There was a wide ranging discussion on Winnall at the Town Forum last Wednesday.

Another idea being explored is to use the car park at Tesco at the top of Easton Lane as part of the park and ride network.

Cllr Nicki Elks, who lives in Winnall on Alresford Road, said: “We need park and ride at Tesco. No buses go into Moorside Road. The only way to get there is by driving.”

A perennial idea for a transfer point to allow heavy lorries to unload to smaller vehicles, so the HGVs do not go into the one-way system at the end of Easton Lane/Wales Street.

Cllr Rob Humby said: “Nothing is off the table. It has been mentioned and we need to make sure it would be practical and viable, leaving aide if any land is available or not.”

Cllr Dominic Hiscock said: “I welcome the report. Things are moving slowly but grinding away finely.”

Progress is being made on stopping the loss of offices. New planning policies mean that conversions into homes will now have to get planning permission instead of being allowed under permitted development rights.

Cllr Rose Burns said: “One of the major problems with Winnall is the bus access. We don’t have sufficiently good bus access to and from Winnall. It is the biggest employment area in the city and buses have difficulty negotiating Imber Road.”

Meanwhile, the forum heard that slow but steady progress is being made drawing up the business action plan to boost Winnall, Winchester’s major employment area.

Cllr Rob Humby, deputy council leader with portfolio for business partnerships, said three ‘barriers’ were being tackled: broadband, parking and access.

He said the city council wanted to aid small businesses and was looking at potential buildings to buy. “We want to support small start-ups whether that is manufacturing or offices. We want to sort transport and parking to attract the businesses in.”

But progress on some things was disappointing. Cllr Ann Weir said she was disappointed that Virgin Media were “being so dilatory on superfast broadband. What can we do to speed them up?” she asked.

Cllr Fiona Mather said there had been a hold-up on the pedestrian crossing for the busy Wales Street.

“This is an important pedestrian route into the city centre, important for the school. We want to encourage people to be healthy and walk.”

Cllr Ian Tait complained about the “absolutely horrific, atrocious potholes on Easton Lane,” which he said were the worst in the city.

Cllr Derek Green, who works at the Tesco superstore, said he had heard the scheme to transform junction 9 of the M3 and A34 had been delayed to 2024. Cllr Humby said the start date was 2021, not 2024.

The meeting heard the Winnall Business Forum, set up as a meting point for the area numerous businesses, had seen momentum wane and it may not continue without city council support.

Meanwhile, the forum heard Winchester Movement Strategy is a chance to test ideas for improving access along Easton Lane, including creating a ‘civic boulevard’ with landscaping.

Work on the strategy is looking at how people travel across the city whether on foot, cycle, car or public transport.