Last week Tony Atherton of Harestock and Dave Alderson of South Wonston asked for sensible explanations of the decision to close Andover Road. There isn't one. But all becomes clear if you realise the real reasons behind it. 

There was considerable local feeling against developing Barton Farm, especially in Harestock and Weeke, but in the end central government pressed for a site "north of Winchester" to be developed, "or else". So Cala Homes (and Winchester College) got their way. 

An extra primary school was included and replacement space for sports pitches at the local secondary school in Harestock to accommodate more pupils there, accessed via a footbridge over Andover Road, to be paid for by Cala Homes. 

But that still left the city councillors taking the flak for giving way. They needed a sop to placate the voters in Harestock and Weeke. That was when some clever dick dreamt up the idea of closing Andover Road and diverting the traffic through the new estate. The councillors could tell the voters of Harestock and Weeke that they were better off with traffic fumes and noise moved further away - although put literally outside some else's front door! That didn't matter because no would be buying one of the new houses for ages. And Cala Homes got away with not having to pay for a footbridge over the Andover Road.

It may be too late to have a judicial review. But it is not too late for rolling protests down Andover Road.

Chris Sharratt,
Waverley Drive,
South Wonston

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