SIR: Over the years, I have been guilty like many local motorists of taking traffic short cuts around the city (‘rat running’ if we are still allowed to say that without offending rats!). However, when some of those short cuts were closed off - like the Kingsgate Arch and College Street - I accepted them without complaint because it was clearly the correct and sensible thing to do. If the current measures in Great Minster Street and The Square result in a permanent pedestrianisation then, once again, I can accept the argument for the greater good, even though that particular short cut to the Broadway has been a favourite of mine for many years!

But the current single lane arrangements in North Walls certainly do not have that compelling logic (even allowing for the Covid situation). North Walls has never been filled with hoards of ambling local pedestrians and tourists, marvelling at the historic wonders of, well, nothing actually. It is an important, necessary route for drivers and, to a lesser extent, for cyclists and pedestrians, but it will never be an attractive thoroughfare - and a wider pavement will not change that. What it will do is create needless traffic congestion which will get far, far worse as more of normal life resumes. The traffic in North Walls itself will become even more stationary than it usually is, with a further downturn in air quality which will benefit no-one.

Hampshire County Council is not exactly the most responsive organisation when it comes to public opinion, but I just hope that they (and the city council) take due note of this and similar letters in the Chronicle and revert North Walls to two lanes of traffic. The city centre traders need our support and this is no time to make access to them even more difficult with short sighted proposals that simply create more congestion.

C J Ashcroft,

Main Road,

Martyr Worthy

SIR: I was surprised to see that the local councils are considering making permanent the recent changes to city roads (Chronicle, August 6). The roads are already slowing down, thus increasing congestion and air pollution. When the schools go back and traffic increases again air pollution can only get worse. Walking past stationary traffic in Jewry Street will be almost impossible. Many people drive into work in Winchester from north of the city where there are very few buses and limited parking.

I hope the councils will think again before increasing breathing problems for those of us who walk.

Barbara Purvis,

Woodgreen Road,