SIR: Covid-19 brought a tranquility to the whole country. Winchester lost its hustle and bustle and Hyde was almost back to being a suburb of the city. Hopefully the pestilence is passing and all will soon return to ‘normal.’

The recent measures to ensure social distancing which includes the temporary (?) closure of Hyde Street to through traffic has already had a marked effect on Worthy Lane, the Andover Road and the station junction. The measures were introduced to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. It has had the reverse effect for pedestrians and cyclists using Worthy Lane, and although Hyde Church Road, which is designated to be a cycle route, has become a rat run exit from Hyde. Only yesterday a person slipped on mud and feel narrowly avoiding a fast approaching car.

What will be the effect on the traffic in this area when King’s Barton is finally completed? Phase one alone will increase the number of residents vehicles in the area by a minimum of some 2,500 cars. At the public enquiry an Hampshire County Council traffic officer is reported to have said that: “the development will consume its own smoke”.

Clearly it will not.

At the meeting with four city councillors in the Cattle Market car park (Chronicle, June 18) there was some talk of how the city council were exploring ways to rid the city centre of vehicular traffic by increasing the number of park and ride options on the outskirts and improving public transport.

Let us hope that this will be sooner rather than later and the council take notice of other cities e.g. Cambridge, Canterbury, York. In these places pedestrians and cyclists move with ease and the council members are proud of their historical heritage and not trying to plan how to build yet more office space to attract even more vehicles into the city.

What is needed is positive action now, not when the city finally becomes grid locked.

Bill Hoade,

Worthy Lane,