A NEW strategy for managing traffic movement around Winchester has moved a step closer.

Hampshire County Council have rubber stamped a decision to hold stakeholder engagement on initial strategy options this autumn, which will take place before a public consultation next year.

A number of major redevelopment projects emerging across the city, including Silver Hill 2, the new leisure centre at Bar End and Station Approach, are also to be incorporated into the strategy.

There has also been discussion about a possible end to the city's notorious one-way system.

The previous Winchester Movement Access Plan focused on moving car parking to the outskirts of the city by building park and ride spaces, which have now reached capacity.

The study also aims to tackle Winchester's poor air quality, with nitrogen dioxide levels exceeding national standards.

It is likely to include improved public transport connectivity and opportunities to encourage more walking and cycling.

Winchester City Council has agreed to make a £200,000 contribution to support the strategy's development.

At the Hampshire County Council decision meeting, Cllr Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport said: “This is something we’ve been working closely with the city council on. It’s a really good and important piece of work for the city and its development.”

Dr Chris Gillam, of Friends of the Earth, said: "I hope it will be something radical.

"What we would like to see in the town centre is a virtually traffic free space, which opens up the space for people.

"It is likely to be more economically viable as you can fit more people in when there are less vehicles."