SIR — The planning application for the Pitt Manor development makes the extraordinary claim that it will reduce traffic on the Romsey Road.

The basis of the claim is that the developers will provide a 200-space car park on the site, which will operate with the proposed bus service from the Bushfield park and ride site to be opened in April.

This car park, it is claimed, will intercept more existing trips into Winchester than are generated by the housing development itself.

Unfortunately, the city council transport department seems to have swallowed this with a quite staggering naiveté.

Their advice is that the scheme entirely accords with their yet-to-be-published Town Access Plan.

This plan is likely to be dominated by the long-debunked notion that park and ride, of itself, reduces traffic.

In fact, when park and ride is done as so far in Winchester, it actually increases the number of cars on the roads.

This is because the city council persistently refuses to remove city centre car parking — the only measure that makes any sense of park and ride as a concept.

When the Bushfield car park opens, traffic will increase in Winchester unless more parking spaces are removed from the centre than are provided at Bushfield.

It would require at least the removal of Friarsgate and both Chesil Street car parks to avoid eventual traffic increase.

If Pitt Manor provides another 200 spaces, the city would additionally have to remove Cossack Lane and the two Brook Street car parks, if traffic is not to increase.

Unlike the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats on the city council who perpetuate a car-dominant lifestyle, at whatever the cost to residents, Winchester Green Party wants to see a reduction of traffic and carbon emissions within Winchester and on the surrounding road network, with a radical improvement in public transport.

Alison Craig, Winchester Green Party, Pigeonhouse Yard, Sutton Scotney.