SIR: We wonder how many writing to the Chronicle about inconveniences experienced from making Hyde Street 'Access only' have thought what it might be like to live in a road blighted by fast traffic? We have lived in Hyde Street for 36 years, over which time car and lorry traffic has increased steadily, with a consequent rise in noise, pollution, vibration and dangers to pedestrians. Until Hyde Street's recent closure to through traffic virtually every motorist ignored its 20mph speed limit, and traffic surveys showed that the new chicanes made little difference to the speed of cars. Motorists still accelerated where they could, using the road as a rat-run to North Walls or to Worthy Road.

The recent measures that have made Hyde Street 'Access only', to help with social distancing, have brought our street back to something of its original character. Many of the houses, such as ours, are built straight on the pavement, and during this recent hot spell we were able to open our road-facing windows for the first time for many years, and to cross the road without risks from accelerating cars.

In fact Hyde Street can now be appreciated in its own right as one of Winchester's finest residential roads with 35 listed buildings, and a history that can be traced to Roman times. Hyde Street has been neglected by the city's planners for far too long, and it has taken a pandemic for its old character to re-emerge and for its residents to feel less oppressed by heavy traffic and pollution. The north of Winchester obviously needs its own Park and Ride to reduce traffic into the city. But in the meantime the planners would do well to visit Hyde Street and to see what can be achieved when the city's environment, and the health of local residents, are placed before the doubtful needs of rapid traffic-throughput.

Nigel and Dee Wood,

Hyde Street,