GREEN campaigners have launched a last-minute bid to prevent the reopening of Winchester's roads.

Hyde Street, North Walls, and Great Minster Street were all closed at the start of the pandemic to allow for social distancing.

But on July 29, Hampshire County Council will make a decision on whether to put an end to these 'active travel schemes'.

Winchester Action on Climate Change is now hoping the roads will remain closed, and is urging local residents to write in support of their ideas.

The organisation has also launched a petition which currently has 254 signatures.

In a newsletter, a spokesperson said: "The Government funded emergency active travel schemes during the pandemic because they wanted to see a transformative change in the way we make journeys in our towns and cities and were hoping to provide a 'lasting legacy of greener, safer transport'.

"The scheme had trial road closures and widening of pavements to enable safe social distancing for pedestrians and cyclists and also allowed spaces for local businesses to operate safely.

"We suspect that councillors are getting many more emails by people who oppose the road closures than people who support them. We need to show councillors that this doesn't reflect public opinion.

WinACC is asking residents to email Hampshire County Council, sign and share its petition and share the information via friends, family and social media.

The agenda and reports will be published on their website one week before the decision day, on July 22.

To view the petition, visit:

The Chronicle previously reported that the closures in Winchester are likely to stay.

Traffic regulation orders in the city had been earmarked to end in September anyway.

Previously city councillor Martin Tod said: "I'm really pleased that the City Council's scheme in the Square and the Broadway looks set to be guaranteed until the end of September. While there are still things to improve, it's generally working well. The City Council team is working with residents, businesses and county officers to improve the scheme still further and to ensure that it can continue after that date.

"In terms of the other county schemes in the city, there's an urgent need to listen to what residents said about them and the proposed improvements to them - adapt the designs where possible - and get improvements in place as fast as possible.

"In the rest of the county, the plan is to take everything out as soon as restrictions end and then put some of them back in later. That all seems a bit weird - I know some other councils aren't doing this - and where schemes are supported locally, such as in Eastleigh, pretty counter-productive. I'll be challenging this decision at the meeting next Thursday."

BREAKING NEWS: County council poised to reopen Hyde Street, with decision due on July 29