CIVIC chiefs say they are committed to maintaining a controversial partial closure of a main road in Winchester city centre.

The county council narrowed part of Jewry Street and North Walls, and closed off the top end of Hyde Street, to make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to socially distance.

The measure in Jewry Street has been lifted but North Walls is being retained, despite widespread criticism that it is causing congestion on City Road and at the Carfax junction and .

A Hampshire County Council spokesperson said: “We have no plans to change this scheme (North Walls) at present, but we will keep all these measures under review as we have promised, and should circumstances change, and the schemes lose their effectiveness we will act to amend or remove them if required.

"There is always a balance to be struck between the changing traffic situation, encouraging more sustainable travel and supporting social distancing."

She added: “To avoid getting caught in local traffic congestion we advise the public to plan their journeys, avoid the peak times, use alternatives like walking or cycling for shorter journeys in particular, or to park in edge of town centre car parks and walk into the central areas.”

The measures were introduced by the Conservative-controlled county council with the support of the Lib Dem city council.

City councillor Martin Tod told the Chronicle last week that congestion problems could be addressed by adjusting the traffic lights on North Walls and the Carfax junction.