SIR: It was good to read that Winchester City Council is now taking a major practical step towards cleaning up pollution and traffic blight in the centre of Winchester (Chronicle, May 31).

The proposed car park at the Vaultex site in Bar End stands every chance of persuading drivers to park a little further out of the centre and reduce congestion. It will be popular, with a delightful walk to the centre along the river or through Kingsgate.

It is especially good that, as Cllr Warwick says, this purchase is part of the city council’s commitment “to make Winchester cleaner, greener and less congested”. With careful implementation of an integrated plan Winchester city centre could become a much better place for everybody through:

  • Low levels of pollution throughout the centre, benefitting the health of those who visit or live or work there;

  • More space for walking (a wider pavement on City Bridge that would let people linger safely to enjoy the view, and allow extra-care home residents to access the centre);

  • More pedestrianised areas, such as The Square;

  • A better balance between people and traffic in Bridge Street and at the junction of Jewry Street and High Street outside Barclays Bank, a quieter Jewry Street, and a St George’s Street shoppers will no longer want to avoid;

  • Better, safer routes for cyclists;

  • A large, open market in Broadway uninterrupted by traffic;

  • An end to bus delays, and;

  • Parking spaces freed up for cars displaying blue badges, so that people with reduced mobility can park closer.

Local people will have an opportunity to look at how the Winchester Movement Strategy could contribute to Cllr Warwick’s excellent commitment at the free event about air pollution and health at St Peter’s Pastoral Centre. It takes place between 4pm and 6pm on June 21 – Clean Air Day. A vastly improved Winchester is within our grasp.

Phil Gagg,

St Swithun Street,