CYCLING in Winchester will be boosted by new measures being introduced.

Hampshire County Council is launching improved cycle routes by 'removing existing travel constraints.'

The Active Travel Fund Schemes, which are part of the Winchester Movement Strategy (WMS), include allowing bikes in the pedestrianised stretch of Middle Brook Street between Silver Hill and Friarsgate.

The WMS was adopted by Hampshire and Winchester councils in spring 2019, following an extensive process of engagement and public consultation in 2018. It aims to promote a reduction in traffic and healthier lifestyle choices.

The city's main climate action group has criticised the measures as insufficient.

In Middle Brook Street, the existing cycle route south into the retail core of the city will be extended, enabling north-to-south cross-city cycling.

Hampshire Chronicle: Middle Brook Street

The county council also proposes contraflow cycling in Parchment Street between North Walls and St George’s Street.

Hampshire Chronicle: Parchment Street

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Also a prohibition of driving traffic order in Hyde Church Lane between Hyde Street and Worthy Lane.

Hampshire Chronicle: Hyde Church Lane

Lastly, it wants to change the junction at Jewry Street/Hyde Street/North Walls to improve safety for cyclists negotiating the junction with the installation of the Advance Stop Lines (ASL) and improved traffic signals. Detectors would allow earlier release at the traffic lights to enable cyclists to have a head start.

Hampshire Chronicle: Junction at Jewry Street/Hyde Street/North Walls

A county council spokesman said: “The proposal in Middle Brook Street is one of a number of schemes to remove existing constraints to travel and transport around Winchester, to enable growth, and make the city a healthier and more accessible place to live, work and visit.

“This proposal will allow cyclists to legitimately use the area between Silver Hill and Friarsgate which is currently pedestrianised. 

“This would extend the existing cycle route south into the retail heart of the city, and deliver one of the top priority improvements requested by local cycle groups.”

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Since 2018, the WMS has delivered a number of measures across the city. 

They include: Great Minster Street/The Square closed to through traffic; new pedestrian and cycle route to Winchester Sports and Leisure Park at Bar End; additional 287 Park and Ride space 'Barfield 2' site completed on Barfield Close; and covered cycle parking area in Middle Brook Street car park.

As well as the Active Travel Fund improvements, the WMS has other schemes underway. These are: Upper Brook Street car park (58 spaces) being redeveloped for the new St Clements GP surgery; new puffin crossing on Romsey Road by Clifton Terrace (18-month trial); and new 200-space Park and Ride site at Kings Barton.

The latter must be provided by CALA Homes at the northern end of the site next to Well House Lane.

Phil Gagg, of Winchester Action on Climate Crisis, was disappointed that the measures do not go far enough.

"WinACC welcomes all active travel schemes. It’s good news the County Council has received funding for a small group of schemes. It is also good to see that the County Council still regards active travel as an important part of the Winchester Movement Strategy.

"We are disappointed, however, that after many years of consultation and broad consensus, there is still no overall plan for changing traffic flow across Winchester Town in order to achieve the overall aims of the Movement Strategy.

"These schemes are a very small step in the right direction, but they will have little impact . The schemes are too marginal and incoherent to deliver the scale of change we desperately need. We must reduce the unsustainable level of greenhouse gas polluting emissions produced by existing transport arrangements in Winchester town. We need an overall plan for walking and cycling routes across the whole of Winchester Town. We need better bus arrangements that connect bus routes, and that connect bus and rail services."

For more details about the Active Travel Fund Schemes, visit: