SIR: Intentionally or unintentionally, many of your readers have recently slipped into the absurd notion that it is pedestrians in Winchester that cause the traffic emissions and the pollution. Guilty motorists are ganging up to blame their victims. They are saying that Hampshire County Council’s belated attempt to provide a safe refuge for pedestrians on North Walls is the direct cause of greater pollution.

It is the pedestrians’ right that they be given a wide enough safe space to walk along North Walls. For too long they have had to brave the noise and smells, and squeeze by each other on the wafer-thin pavements. It is no wonder that many have long avoided the place, and it will be some time before they return in any numbers, if, as I hope, the temporary changes are made permanent.

We all know of course it is the traffic that causes the pollution. People who drive round Winchester should take full responsibility for the pollution. Recently, more people have been dying each year from vehicle emissions than have so far died from Covid-19. The serious continuous death toll requires us to take radical serious steps.

The only thing wrong with the temporary measures is that they are too little too late, and not yet permanent. We need to widen the pavements on City Bridge, St George’s Street, on Romsey Road bridge, in Stockbridge Road tunnel, on Southgate Road and in many other places.

Motorists have a duty to limit their polluting behaviour. They should use park & ride, or park at the edge of the centre in car parks like Cattle Market or Chesil where there are now plenty of spaces. The short 10-minute walk into town will then be a life-saving antidote to the obesity the editorial (Chronicle, September 3) has warned us of. Best of all, if possible, motorists should leave their cars at home and get on their bikes.

If motorists keep out of the centre there will be no jams and no pollution.

Phil Gagg,

St Swithun Street,