ONE of the most important documents in recent Winchester history is due to be published within weeks.

The draft Movement Strategy goes to open consultation in November, a long-term strategy designed to improve how people move around the city whether by train, car, bike, or on foot.

The development of a strategy by the city and county councils is timely given the new development in full swing, such as 2,000-home Barton Farm (also known as Kings Barton), Station Approach, the Central Winchester Regeneration project (Silver Hill 2) and the £38m sports centre at Bar End, which goes before the planning committee next week.

The aim is to understand how to address travel and transport constraints, to support Winchester’s growth, and allow the city to become a healthier and more accessible place. The overall aim of the strategy is to reduce city centre traffic.

Traffic in Winchester, stock picture. Traffic in Winchester, stock picture.

Residents and businesses will be asked their views on the strategy next month, with the final strategy due by March 2019. Once adopted, further work will follow that will enable the two councils to seek the funding necessary to deliver infrastructure and wider improvements.

A public consultation in Autumn 2017 attracted over 1,300 responses.

The latest stakeholder event, held in July 2018, helped to identify some high-level options intended to enhance how the city works in transport terms.

Cllr Jan Warwick, city council portfolio holder for environment, said: “This is an exciting and ambitious piece of work by both councils working together. We will take on board all feedback we have received and technical traffic modelling work before adopting a final version of the document in March 2019.

“Following this we will need to develop an action plan what do first; undertake further technical design work on the strategy elements; and identify a joint funding strategy.”

Cllr Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council and city council deputy leader, said: “As the city grows and evolves, we want to make sure we have an agreed strategy which is aimed at delivering the right travel and transport arrangements, so Winchester continues to be the great place that it is.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has shared their views so far, and look forward to further feedback this autumn which will help the county council to bid for national funding.”

The open consultation in November will be preceded by a briefing for councillors and drop-in sessions for parish councils and other interested groups.