SIR: Several years ago I was talking to my next door neighbour and her family from my front door step. A wing mirror from a white van whipped through her hair. It was clear to me that a few millimetres closer and she would have sustained a life-changing brain injury.

A few years later I heard from several different sources a story that led me to believe that a young local parent had been injured in this way, devastating the lives of that family.

The tragedy is that the incremental changes that have been allowed by our city planners have brought us to a place where life changing injury in Hyde Street is predictable.

Cars and vans are now wider, more SUVs and 4x4s are now being driven at speed around the streets of our city without the changes in infrastructure to keep the residents safe.

Hyde Street looked and felt like a residential road when we moved here 26 yrs ago, but over the years the street parking has been removed, trees have been cut down and the double yellow lines have changed our Roman road into something resembling an airport runway, the 20mph speed limit being largely ignored.

So whilst I can sympathise with the motorists of Hyde who have to spend a little longer in their warm, air conditioned, air bagged, safety caged cars, I question the fact that their needs take priority over pedestrians and cyclists who have nothing to protect them.

The residents of Hyde Street, one of the oldest of Winchester’s streets are sleeping, eating and having their ‘downtime’ just a little more than a meter from the road on either side. Most other residences locally have front gardens, wide pavements, parked cars, and occasionally grass verges and a row of trees to separate them from the noise, pollution and outbreaks of road rage that come with the traffic.

I congratulate our council for bravely taking steps to protect Hyde Street residents from more than just Covid. We have made significant sacrifices over the years for the convenience of others, now is the time for others to share the pain and work constructively with the council for a new solution.

Dr A E Russell,

BMedSci, BM, BS, DRCOG, DipOccMed,

Hyde Street,