SIR: As residents of Hyde Street, my wife and I can only applaud the decision to curtail (indeed, ban) all through traffic. At long last we can enjoy a peaceful night and much cleaner air.

I do sympathise with our friends in Worthy Lane, justifiably worried that closing the Hyde Street "rat run" will mean long, air-polluting queues outside their houses. However, with or without the Hyde Street restrictions, Worthy Lane is a constant disaster, feeding into the still greater disaster when it meets the Andover Road and the subsequent five-way crossroads at the junction with City Road. Relaxing the restrictions on Hyde Street (where, unlike Worthy Lane, there are houses on both sides of the road) will do precious little to alleviate the problems beyond it.

What is needed is a much more daring approach from the council to the problems of traffic and pollution in our city. If Cambridge and Bath (and plenty of cities in France) can minimise the use of cars in their centres, why not Winchester? Given the success of city centre shops in Cambridge and Bath, the argument that greater pedestrianisation will harm Winchester's shops is specious. The time is long past for the Council to set up a Park and Ride centre to the north of the city. And why not provide a very cheap, or even free, system of mini-buses around the town (as Denver has long done in the USA)? There are plenty of solutions that can be explored. Making Winchester a "car friendly" city is no solution at all.

John Andrews,

Hyde House Gardens,