SIR: Hyde Street is neither a rat run nor, primarily, a tourist feature; it is the main thoroughfare of Hyde. John and Dee Hearn (Letters, August 20) should realise that its landmark buildings, such as the remnants of the brewery, only exist because the street offered direct access for vehicles to travel widely with few hold-ups, which is still the most efficient and, importantly now, the least polluting way of doing things.

So why has the council reduced North Walls to one crawling lane of traffic and closed one end of Hyde Street to traffic entirely, sending us all round the houses? It strikes me that if I still worked out of town, with the diversion in place I would already have driven an extra forty miles or so. And, far from reversing those measures, as Southampton is soon to do in Bassett Avenue, there is talk here of making them permanent. Many in Hyde must already be following the half-mile diversion twice a day. Do we want to see these thousands of unnecessary miles driven every year? Please let’s leave trying to solve Winchester’s traffic problems until calmer times, and in the meanwhile follow Southampton’s example.

Neil Hyman,

Monks Road,